GLOBAL - Principles of a multi stakeholder group driving sustainability across world beef production systems have been slammed by a collection of NGO’s for vagueness and failure to address key issues.
The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) document Principles and Criteria for Global Sustainable Beef has “deeply disappointed” a range of lobbying, welfare and environmental organisations.
A letter to the GRSB said the report could be seen as “an attempt to pass off business as usual farming as sustainable”, with no specific goals or performance standards.
Key issues such as antibiotics, manure management and herbicide resistance were not addressed, the letter added.
Unveiled in Sao Paulo earlier this month, the GRSB's vision of sustainable beef was for a “socially responsible, environmentally sound and economically viable" industry.
This sits on a framework of people, planet, animals and progress.
Hitting back, the GRSB said the letter demonstrated a “fundamental misunderstanding” of both the GRSB’s work and beef production in general.
The letter had oversimplified world beef production systems, it said.
Farms are diverse, needing “multiple approaches to achieve sustainable outcomes".
GRSB spokesman, Ruaraidh Petre (pictured) dismissed as incorrect claims that certain issues had been neglected by the document.
“Issues such as food safety, the use of technology, worker health and safety and environmental concerns are all addressed in the final Principles and Criteria document.”
Mr Petre added the letter, which accused the GRSB of failing on growth promoting technologies and “confinement beef production”, as a danger to collaboration in the industry.
“Working alongside our Civil Society constituency, national roundtables, producers and industry members, we are confident that our efforts will lead to a more sustainable future for us all,” he concluded.