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Australian Cattle Council : Yearbook 2013
YEARBOOK2013 CATTLE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA 41 Other members of the GRSB include the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, Canadian Cattlemen's Association, Cargill, JBS, McDonalds, Allflex and Rabobank. The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef grew out of the first Global Conference for Sustainable Beef in November 2010. As of January 2013, the GRSB had begun work on defining what is meant by sustainable beef through the formation of a definitions committee. The definitions committee met for the first time on 16 and 17 April 2013 in Chicago, USA, and I was fortunate enough to attend. In addition to the Cattle Council, Beef producers were well represented at the Chicago meeting by the NCBA and the Canadian Cattleman's Association. This meeting was very important in setting the agenda for the global sustainability debate and a draft set of principles was determined. These principles are: • People -- That the GRSB respects fundamental human rights and promotes opportunities for professional and personal development; • Community -- Respects and contributes to the wellbeing of local communities; • Animal Wellbeing -- Respects and manages animals to ensure their wellbeing; • Food -- Protects food safety, promotes nutritious, quality beef and contributes to food security; • Natural resources -- Manages natural resources responsibly and maintains or enhances the health of ecosystems; • Efficiency and Innovation -- Encourages innovation, optimises production and reduces waste. I am very comfortable with the principles developed, as are the other producer groups. The whole group recognised that if producers were not able to practically implement the requirements the concept would fail. Since this meeting the roundtable has been developing Criteria around these principles. CCA is Co- Chair of the animal welfare section of the Definition Committee. In this capacity we have been fortunate to receive assistance from Meat and Livestock Australia and our various policy subcommittees to develop the criteria under the principals. By the end of 2013 this committee will develop draft principles, criteria and a road map for reaching indicators of sustainability to be presented at a GRSB meeting in Brazil first quarter of 2014. No group will be able to dominate the outcomes and I am confident that groups like the World Wildlife Fund can only be part of the discussion and not drive it. There is no plan to develop a seal, certification or comparable standard. While I acknowledge that developing the agenda is not a fast moving process, I have found the Cattle Council's involvement in the GRSB process to be overwhelmingly beneficial. Not only has it helped cement Australia's reputation as a world leader in best practice product. It has also ensured that we are engaged in the debate representing the interests of producers. In fact we have even encouraged other members of Five Nations Beef Alliance to ensure producer representation is strong. I look forward to continuing the Cattle Council's engagement with the GRSB in 2014. ANDREW OGILVIE President The magnitude of the topic of sustainable beef production shouldn't be underestimated.