The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) held its first virtual Annual General Meeting yesterday, with record attendance. The meeting was an opportunity to share the progress and diverse accomplishments that CRSB has made over the past year in advancing beef sustainability in Canada. This included participation in the development of ambitious and measurable Canadian beef industry goals addressing greenhouse gases and carbon sequestration; animal health and care, and land use and biodiversity, further demonstrating Canada’s leadership role in environmental, social and economic sustainability. The event also featured a panel discussion on initiatives and opportunities for collaboration to advance sustainability around the world.
Significant progress has been made with CRSB’s beef sustainability certification framework, with a 28% increase in certified sustainable farms and ranches this year, and two new processors certified to the sustainable processing standard. Retail and foodservice partners continue to show their support for sustainable practices in Canadian beef; in March, Chop Steakhouse & Bar began sourcing a portion of their beef from certified sustainable farms and ranches, and were the first full-serve restaurant in Canada to showcase the CRSB Certified logo on a restaurant menu. Later this year, McDonald’s Canada will expand its sustainability sourcing to include the Quarter Pounder® line of burgers, and Harveys continues to source CRSB Certified for their Original Burger. A total of 4.8 million lbs. of beef were sold with a CRSB Claim between July 2019 and June 2020, and over 8.6 million lbs. since the program started in 2018.
An interim report on the National Beef Sustainability Strategy was released in February, with over 75% of the action items having been completed or in progress. Key focus areas will be prioritized over the next three years, as CRSB prepares for its next Beef Sustainability Assessment.
As part of an expanded marketing strategy, the CRSB undertook its first consumer-focused ad campaign this summer. A new website highlighting the benefits of beef production was created to support the campaign. For more information, visit beeffortheplanet.ca.
“In an unprecedented year, our members have risen to the challenge, and we have made great progress in Canadian beef industry sustainability,” says Anne Wasko, CRSB Chair. “I am proud to be able to lead such a diverse, collaborative group committed to a common vision. I believe sustainability conversations will become even more prominent, and I look forward to continuing to make meaningful impacts together in all areas of sustainability.”
For more details on these initiatives and more, check out CRSB’s Annual Report, released today, and available at crsb.ca.