Beef Sustainability

New Marketplace Program Recognized For Meeting Sustainability Standards

Victoria G Myers
By  Victoria G. Myers , Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
The U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (USRSB) recognized Where Food Comes From's new BeefCARE sustainability standard for cow/calf and stocker operations, as aligning with USRSB's metrics and indicators. (Progressive Farmer image by Boyd Kidwell)

As beef producers work to stand out to buyers, meeting sustainability standards and having some type of certification to prove compliance to those potential buyers, is getting easier.

The U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (USRSB) announced Where Food Comes From's (WFCF) new BeefCare standard meets all six key elements of USRSB's framework for sustainability. This signifies proper incorporation in the BeefCARE standard of cow/calf sustainability indicators and metrics.

BeefCARE joins four other marketplace programs recognized for meeting this criteria by USRSB. Programs apply for and pass evaluation by an independent third party to show they have incorporated framework criteria for beef sustainability. Their alignment claim is good for three years, after which companies reapply to maintain recognition status.

Leann Saunders, president of WFCF, says: "By being a third-party verified program, CARE certification is intended to add value to operations through consumer marketing as well as measured and improved sustainability practices. The program is inclusive of animal husbandry, environmental stewardship and people and community standards."

On its website, WFCF explains CARE certification creates value by communicating the invaluable role farmers and ranchers play in those critical areas, as well as providing a third-party verified standard to measure and monitor key indicators and metrics.

USRSB chair Ben Weinheimer, with Texas Cattle Feeders Association, says: "Efforts to seek alignment with the U.S. Beef Industry Sustainability Framework demonstrate the commitment of our supply chain partners to showcase the unmatched economic, social and environmental performance of the beef industry."

The USRSB is comprised of five groups: producers, allied industry, packers and processors, retail and civil society. Its framework focuses on six high priority indicators in areas tied to the following: water resources, land resources, animal health and well-being, employee safety and well-being, efficiency and yield, and air and greenhouse gas emissions. This group does not oversee implementation of any of the framework in the marketplace, nor does it regulate. It does, however encourage market-driven initiatives.

For more information on becoming certified under the BeefCARE standard, go to www.wfcfcare.com.

(VM/AG)

Victoria Myers