GRSB to explore zero-deforestation beef production

The Global Conference on Sustainable Beef, to be held October 4-7 at the Fairmont Hotel in Banff Springs, Alberta, Canada, is featuring a dedicated breakout session focusing on work being done in South America to support forest conservation and sustainable beef production.

Simon Hall, a member of the International Wildlife Conservation team at the National Wildlife Federation and co-chair of the Joint Working Group on Forests, explains, "very positive work is being done in South American countries to reduce deforestation driven by the production and expansion of cattle ranching". The advancement of zero deforestation beef production is having substantial social, economic and environmental benefits in these regions".

The session at the Global Conference will include representatives from Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay who will report on national-level efforts to address deforestation and promote zero-deforestation cattle production.

In addition, representatives from meatpacking companies, retailers, and non-governmental organizations will present examples of coordinated supply chain support for zero-deforestation beef, including successful examples of commitments and sourcing in action.

The Joint Working Group on Forests (JWG), facilitator of the session, is a technical working group of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) and the Brazilian Roundtable on Sustainable Livestock (GTPS), focused on engagement and collaboration to address forest-related issues in cattle supply chains. Led by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), the JWG serves in an advisory role to the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) on efforts to mobilize resources to achieve zero-net deforestation by 2020.

"This featured session during the Global Conference will provide an international forum at which progress on this important issue may be shared as well as discussed during the interactive session," said Hall.

The Global Conference, hosted by the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) and the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, will also feature several sessions created to be highly engaging and focused on work being done in various regions of the world in myriad areas of beef sustainability. In 2014, GRSB adopted a set of five core principles to define global sustainable beef including natural resources; people & the community; animal health & welfare; food; and efficiency & innovation. These principles will be at the center of discussions of future efforts to advance sustainable practices globally in the production, processing, and merchandising of beef.

"The Global Conference, held every two years, brings together a wide array of stakeholders in the beef value chain in order to share research and progress on the effort to make beef production even more sustainable," said Dennis Laycraft, GRSB president and executive director of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association.

"This is a unique group that includes producers, processors, retailers, suppliers, and environmentally-focused organizations that leads to vital dialogue and interaction."

More information on the 2016 Global Conference on Sustainable Beef is available at

For more information on GRSB, please visit


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