Solidaridad welcomes agreement on sustainable beef principles

Solidaridad has welcomed the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB)‘s approval of new Principles and Criteria for sustainable beef. Following a year of discussions between stakeholders, an overwhelming majority of 95% supported the principles at the GRSB’s Global Conference on Sustainable Beef, jointly organized with the Brazilian Roundtable for Sustainable Livestock (GTPS) in São Paulo on November 2-5. Solidaridad’s Livestock International Programme Coordinator, Pieter Sijbrandij, who is a member of the board of GRSB and helped draft the Principles and Criteria, called the approval an important step towards further improvements on the ground. Solidaridad is working with beef producers in seven countries in Latin America and Africa on improvements and is convinced that the new Principles and Criteria will give this work extra impetus.

Solidaridad has welcomed the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB)‘s approval of new Principles and Criteria for sustainable beef.

Cameron Bruett, GRSB President, announcing the member approval of the GRSB Principles and Criteria for Defining Global Sustainable Beef.GRSB defines sustainable beef as a socially responsible, environmentally sound and economically viable product that prioritizes four issues:

  1. Planet (principles: Natural Resources, Efficiency and Innovation, People and the Community);
  2. People (principles: People and the Community, and Food);
  3. Animals (principles: Animal Health and Welfare, Efficiency and Innovation);
  4. Progress (principles: Natural Resources, People and the Community, Animal Health and Welfare, Food, Efficiency and Innovation).

Each of the five constituencies (producers, commerce and processing, retail, civil society, and regional and national roundtables) approved the Principles and Criteria.

In a departure from the practice of most roundtable initiatives, GRSB has no plans to create a standard for how beef should be produced in any region or country. As Cameron Bruett, the President of GRSB, explained:  “We know that mandated practices or a single ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to beef production will not work for our members around the globe.”

The next steps for GRSB include working with regional and national roundtables to identify areas where improvements and efficiencies can be achieved, as is presently being done in Brazil, where Solidaridad is a member of the GTPS. The GTPS is currently at an advanced stage of developing national indicators and means of verification. Furthermore, we are running a joint project under Farmer Support Programme funding (for more information see here).

Solidaridad is also active in setting up and further developing these national roundtables in several countries. In Argentina, Solidaridad has recently joined forces with Elanco, Arcos Dorados (McDonalds) and the IPCVA (National Institute for the Promotion of the Beef in Argentina) to form the “Argentine Platform for Sustainable Beef”. Representatives travelled with Solidaridad to the GRSB conference as preparation for their work to create a national definition of sustainable beef.

In Paraguay, meanwhile, Solidaridad and its partner ARP (Rural Association of Paraguay) are working towards generating standards and a monitoring system  to build a national brand that promotes Paraguayan beef as a natural and sustainable product.

For more information, please see the Principles and Criteria Backgrounder or visit