Beef Sustainability Group to Address Importance of Stakeholder Engagement at Sustainable Agriculture Summit in Denver

DENVER (November 13, 2018) – Stakeholders in agriculture sustainability will hear from the nation’s leading beef sustainability group, the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (USRSB), at the 2018 Sustainable Agriculture Summit November 14-15 in Denver.

The presentation, In the Hot Seat: U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef Confronts Criticism of its National Beef Sustainability Framework, will look at the draft USRSB Sustainability Framework, public comments to the Framework and USRSB’s responses. The purpose of the Framework is to establish a set of resources for companies and operations in the value chain to assess their individual sustainability.

The presentation will be moderated by Kim Stackhouse-Lawson, Ph.D., the USRSB Chair and Director of Sustainability for JBS USA. Panelists include USRSB members: Gary Bates, Ph.D., Professor and Beef Forage Center Director, University of Tennessee; Chad Ellis, Industry Relations and Stewardship Manager, Noble Research Institute; Nancy Labbe, Senior Ranching and Conservation Program Officer, World Wildlife Fund; Rob Manes, Director, The Nature Conservancy-Kansas; and Brad White, DVM, Professor and Beef Cattle Institute Director, Kansas State University.

“The roundtable work is supported by a diverse group of stakeholders,” said Ben Weinheimer, chair- elect of the USRSB and vice president of the Texas Cattle Feeders Association. “Our framework is not only supported by the beef value chain, but also NGOs, academia, research and conservation organizations.”

Earlier this year, the USRSB collected feedback on its approach to sustainability during a 60-day public comment period. Over 450 comments were received.

“The open comment period allowed us the opportunity to hear from the public, address concerns and make improvements that ultimately led to a more comprehensive framework,” added Weinheimer. “This input is crucial as we move forward with creating resources to meet individual sustainability needs across the supply chain.”

The USRSB Sustainability Framework includes three elements: High-Priority Indicators, which identify areas important to beef sustainability for the entire supply chain, along with Metrics and Sustainability Assessment Guides, which are segment-specific elements of the Framework that address unique opportunities for the supply chain to implement sustainability in ways that are most meaningful to that segment.

The USRSB will release official responses to all public comments with a revised set of resources during a final comment period this year. The feedback received will be considered as the final version of the Sustainability Framework is completed and scheduled to be released May 1 at the group’s General Assembly Meeting in Fresno, California.

To explore the Framework, review comments, and provide feedback to the USRSB’s work, visit www.usrsbframework.org.

The U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (USRSB) is a multi-stakeholder initiative developed to advance, support and communicate continuous improvement in sustainability of the U.S. beef value chain. The USRSB achieves this through leadership, innovation, multi-stakeholder engagement and collaboration. For more information please visit the USRSB website at www.usrsb.org or email usrsb@beef.org

By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Brian Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.