Towards a common view on sustainable beef

Yesterday, Solidaridad attended the launch of the ‘Novo Campo’ programme for sustainable livestock in the Amazon. The programme, coordinated by Solidaridad’s partner Instituto Centro de Vida (ICV), promotes sustainable practices to reduce deforestation while also recuperating natural resources and strengthening the local economy. Solidaridad’s role in the programme will be to build an integrated, sustainable territorial approach to global agricultural supply chains.

The launch of ‘Novo Camp’ results from the collaboration between ICV, Solidaridad, and other partners in Alta Floresta—the  main cattle centre in the large, northern state Mato Grosso in Brazil. Here, a new integrated management scheme has been successfully tested with 14 cattle producers. This integrated management scheme proves the effectiveness of adopting better agricultural practices to increase both quality and productivity. With the launch of this programme, the time to disseminate the good results has arrived.

Bringing people together to generate a national standard

The Alta Floresta project is part of a bigger portfolio of seven pilot projects currently coordinated by the Brazilian Roundtable on Sustainable Livestock (GTPS) and funded by the Farmer Support Programme (FSP). These pilots aim to examine different management schemes and to share and multiply best practices across the country. All of the pilots have the same objective of bringing people, both from within and outside the sector, together to generate a more common understanding about how to realise sustainable livestock production.

All of the pilots share certain commonalities in that they focus on solutions and that they all focus on changing the mind-set of the parties involved. This enables environmentalists to adapt their language on climate change and greenhouse gasses to that of the producers, who frequently talk about erosion and organic soil matter. This generates an understanding that each region and each actor will have to find its own way of dealing with sustainability, but that by working together one can speed up this learning curve.

The GTPS is rapidly becoming the primary institutional setting for discussing and sharing learnings about sustainable livestock management in Brazil. The level of trust among the members is increasing, and progress is being made in the design of the voluntary standard.

Towards global principles & criteria for sustainable Beef

GTPS’ lessons learned, together with those from other FSP livestock projects, will enhance the exchange of best practices across the world and assist in the effort to establish a shared view on sustainable beef production.

The next steps in building such a common understanding will take place at the 2014 Global Conference on Sustainable Beef. The Conference is sponsored by JBS, Cargill, McDonalds, Rabobank, and others and will take place this coming November 2-5 in São Paulo, Brazil.

The objectives of the Global Conference will be to:

  • Roll-out the newly adopted GRSB Principles & Criteria for Sustainable Beef;
  • Discuss measuring the sustainable beef supply chain progress;
  • Explore communicating sustainability with the consumer;
  • Address global resource efficiency; and
  • Communicate the vision, future direction, and role of GRSB.

During the Confernce, GTPS has organized a technical field visit to the ICV-Solidaridad project area in Alta Floresta, which is open to all conference attendees between November 6-7, 2014.

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