Cargill Reports Canadian Beef Sustainability Pilot Progress

More than 1 million pounds of beef was produced during the third quarter of Cargill's Canadian Beef Sustainability Pilot, nearly double the amount produced during the previous quarter. ( Cargill )

Cargill announced more than 1 million pounds of beef was produced during the third quarter of its Canadian Beef Sustainability Pilot. In a statement, the company said the pilot’s volume nearly doubled from its first quarter to its third.

“While much of this initial growth can be attributed to diligent efforts by the pilot’s partners as a result of updating systems, records and processes to ensure all beef that meets the standard is recorded and tracked, the program has also seen a steady increase in participation from cattle producers and foodservice partners,” said Mike Martin, Cargill director of communications.

During the pilot’s third quarter, participating Canadian cattle producers earned credits of $18.52 per head. Martin said payments made by participating retailers and foodservice operators are funding credits given to cattle producers during the pilot in appreciation for their involvement in, and commitment to, Canadian beef sustainability.

“The dollars-per-head credit varies each quarter of the pilot based on total number of qualifying animals, cattle weights and participating retailer and foodservice operator beef demand,” Martin said. “The goal of the pilot is to permanently deliver a consistent supply of beef from certified sustainable sources to our retail and foodservice customers and their Canadian consumers, according to standards recently developed by the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef.”

Cargill launched its Canadian Beef Sustainability Pilot in the fall of 2017. Quarterly pilot project credit payments to producers thus far are: 3rd Quarter, $18.52 per ehad; 2nd Quarter, $20.11 per head; 1st Quarter, $10.00 per head.

Cargill’s multi-stakeholder Canadian Beef Sustainability Acceleration (CBSA) pilot traces beef from audited farms and ranches through the supply chain to consumers. This effort expands the project that ended in 2016, in which McDonald’s Canada collaborated with Cargill and other supply chain stakeholders to demonstrate the viability of such a program.

Cargill says a growing number of Canadian beef cattle producers are completing the steps necessary to qualify for the pilot, with the overarching goal of enabling retail and foodservice participants to consistently offer a supply of beef from certified sustainable sources to consumers. Only Canadian  cattle are eligible to participate, and the cattle are processed at the Cargill High River, Alberta, facility.