Sustainable Ag Initiative Offers Guidelines for 'Green' Beef Production

The food and agricultural industry group publishes a new set of guidelines designed to significantly reduce the environmental impact of beef production.

The Sustainable Agriculture Initiative, which brings together over 50 high profile food and agri-business companies including the likes of McDonalds, Nestle and Unilever, last week released the new Principles for Sustainable Beef Farming, offering a set of standardized guidelines to help beef farmers minimize their environmental footprint.

The Initiative set out 39 specific guidelines covering sustainable farming systems, economic sustainability, social sustainability and economic sustainability. For example, the principles commit farmers to tracing individual animals and feed stocks, developing a sustainability strategy, and embracing best practices to minimize water use, soil erosion, energy use, and greenhouse gas emissions.

 "More than a decade ago we introduced our McDonald's Agricultural Assurance Program (MAAP) which has been helping drive higher standards in our Supply Chain," Keith Kenny, senior director for supply chain at McDonald's Europe said in a statement. "However, to date there has been no widely agreed definition of what sustainable beef looks like. SAI Platform has successfully brought together producers and processors from across the supply chain, along with key retailers as knowledge exchange partners, to establish a set of Principles for Sustainable Beef Farming that we can all support."

He added that the group would now begin work on a new set of Sustainable Beef Farming Practices "to help farmers meet those Principles in a practical way and then widely promote and support their adoption." To read more, click HERE.