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TheBeefSite Newsletter - 5 March 2014

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TheBeefSite
Wednesday 5th March 2014.
Michael Priestley - Editor

Michael Priestley
Editor


McDonald's Sustainable Beef Drive Meets Strong Opposition

Sceptical cattlemen will be ‘working hard’ to stop McDonald’s meeting its sustainable beef sourcing aspirations, the Australian Beef Association (ABA) has announced.

The producer body has joined multiple voices in calling for an end to the drive for verified sustainable beef.

A coordinated push for a reference on sustainable beef was headed up by the McDonald’s verified sustainability pledge in the New Year when Bob Langert committed to a 2016 sourcing date.

ABA President Brad Bellinger sees the announcement as a marketing campaign to pass extra cost onto producers at very little expense to McDonald’s.

Mr Bellinger snubbed McDonald’s impact on the Australian beef market, saying drought pressure leaves a greater impression on Australia’s beef herd dynamics.

He told TheBeefSite that an environmental module, to be attached to the existing Livestock Production Assurance element of the National Vendor Declaration form, would serve to justify McDonald’s sustainability claims.

He said: “Australia currently has among the lowest cattle prices in the world, the most profitable processors and a supermarket duopoly that controls over 50 per cent of beef retail sales,” he said.

“Although McDonalds are a minor player in volume with retail beef sale at 1.8-2 per cent, because they use trim from carcase they can have a big impact on supply demands.”

Going forward, his message to McDonald’s is that they should accept beef as it comes.

Meanwhile, farmers have been advised to ignore sustainability guarantees with processors.

He concluded: “I do believe there is a genuine threat that McDonalds will eventually source sustainable burgers only. However, we will be working hard to stop them.”

In response, the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) – the organisation tasked with defining what constitutes ‘sustainable beef’ – has dismissed claims that sustainability will mean added costs for producers.

GRSB chief executive Ruaraidh Petre told TheBeefSite that initial adjustments may be needed on farms but sustainability means long term saving.

He said: “While part of the definition of sustainability is that it must pay for itself, for all partners, it is clear that upfront investment is often needed to bring about change.

“Accessing finance to support innovation needs to become an important part in the sustainability matrix,” he said. 

He insisted that sustainable beef means cost saving throughout the supply chain - not just for retailers.

The GRSB’s goal is to find a reference point for sustainable beef production across all systems and countries that yield beef products.

Describing what this could mean for the future, Mr Petre said: “The industry will be in a better position to demonstrate that through through good management, which many have always practised and through innovation, it is possible to produce, process and retail beef in ways that contribute to better livelihoods for the people throughout the value chain, welfare for cattle and to positive environmental outcomes, while meeting the needs of the global population for valuable protein sources.”

Further Reading

For more information on McDonald's sustainable beef pledge, click here.


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Company News

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Global Beef Industry News

   Australia

Drought Down Under: What is the Cost?
Australian Meat Export Prospects Discussed at Outlook Conference

   United States

Food Production in US May Need to Change if Climate Does
New US Programme for State Animal Feed Regulators
CME: Broiler Supply Growth Relatively Limited
Cattle Futures: Prices Hit Another Contract High, Tuesday
Cattle Futures: No Gains For April Contracts, Monday
Cattle Outlook: Historical Week as Fed Cattle Break $150/cwt
USDA's Vilsack Speaks About Implementation of Farm Bill
Cattle Futures: Feeder and Live Contracts Close Lower, Thursday
Cattle Futures: Wednesday's Upside Move Is a 'Game Changer'
Restocking Important to Prevent Fuel Load Build-up
What Might it Take to Rebuild the Beef Herd?
Cattle Futures: Prices Close At Fresh Contract High, Tuesday
Hindrances in Addressing Health Concerns from Industrial Animal Production
CME: January Frozen Meat Inventories Lower Than a Year Ago
Potential Growth in Corn Used for Ethanol Production
Luciano Named President of ADM

   Finland

Livestock Production Undergoing Rapid Structural Change

   United Kingdom

5m Publishing Expands its Animal Care Coverage
End Users 'Rattled' By Cull Cow Prices
Forum to Explore Animal Welfare and the Law
Higher Chance of Grass Staggers This Turn Out
UK Vets Warn of Animal Health Dangers from Receding Floodwater
Recovery Fund for Flooded Farmers
Call for Supermarkets to Sell More British Produce
Government Promises to Back British Farm Exports
UK Farming Needs Long-term Strategic Plan
Princess Royal Praises Collaborations to Safeguard Livestock

   China

Chinese Food Prices Continue to Fall
China To Add One Million Animals to Urumqi Farms
China Vaccinates Livestock against FMD in Tibet
FMD NEWS: China Vaccinates Livestock Against FMD in Tibet

   Singapore

TPP Talks in Final Stretch, Says Singapore Diplomat

   Global

Strong Growth Forecast for Organic Minerals in Animal Feed
What Can Chelated Minerals Do For Cattle?
Call for EU-NZ Free Trade Agreement
WTO Decision on US M-COOL Expected in Summer
El Nino to Impact Americas, Australia, India, China this Summer
US Agriculture Leaders Gather for Meat Export Market Expo

   Brazil

BRF Outlook Good as Income Soars

   Canada

Maple Leaf Reports Loss
Decision on US M-COOL Expected in Summer

   Spain

Almost Half Spain's Coupled Payments to Fund Beef

   Germany

Germans Identify Second BSE Case

Events/Promotions

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