New report assesses beef sustainability in Canada

Calgary, Alberta. The Canadian Roundtable on Sustainable Beef (CRSB) has released the second edition of the long awaited report on the National Beef Sustainability Assessment and its strategy, highlighting the progress and commitments of the Canadian livestock sector in terms of sustainability.

A necessary consultation tool

This comprehensive report reflects three years of scientific analysis and highlights progress made between 2014 and 2021 on sustainability indicators such as greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity, carbon sequestration, human health and safety, animal welfare and economic contributions, among others.

According to the report, a 15 % reduction in greenhouse gas emissions has been achieved to produce 1 kg of beef (deboned and consumed) since 2014. This achievement is largely attributed to improved efficiency in cattle growth, resulting in a lower overall carbon footprint.

The document also highlights that land used to raise cattle for beef production stores approximately 1.9 billion tons of organic carbon in the soil, playing a crucial role in preserving critical wildlife habitats.

Ryan Beierbachpresident of the CRSB and beef producer in Saskatchewan, expressed enthusiasm for the 15 % reduction in greenhouse gas emissions intensity, marking significant progress toward the 33 % target by 2030. In this regard, he said: "I am proud of the Canadian beef industry's commitment to continuous improvement and the progress already made on our path to sustainability.".

Regarding the importance of the evaluation, Beierbach adds that "demonstrates the critical role of Canadian beef producers and our members in promoting sustainability, and what we can achieve when we work together toward common goals.".

The report also addresses important issues such as animal welfare, farmer mental health and the continued demand for Canadian beef. The CRSB emphasizes the importance of transparency and continuous improvement in the cattle industry, with the implementation of a national beef sustainability strategy that highlights tangible actions and priority collaborations.

Canadian cattle production: some highlights

  • Demand for Canadian beef remains strong among Canadian consumers, up 5%, and worldwide the increase is 16%.
  • For each worker employed in livestock production at the farm level in Canada2.5 workers are employed directly or indirectly in the Canadian economy. And for every worker employed in the Canadian meat processing industry, another 3.4 workers are employed, including direct and indirect jobs.
  • The Canadian beef industry contributes C$51.5 billion (about US$37.7 billion) to the production of goods and services, US$21.8 billion to Canadian GDP and US$11.7 billion to labor income.

Source: Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB).

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