The ERBS increases its global presence

3rd December 2022

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ERBS representatives participate in the
GRSB’s global conference in Denver

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The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB)’s Global Conference themed “Sustainable Beef – Reaching New Heights: Achieving Global Goals” took place between 7th and 10th November in Denver, Colorado. The event brought together a global network of likeminded individuals with the aim of powering a future of beef sustainability.

Rozanne Davis, Director of the European Roundtable for Beef Sustainability (ERBS) was present at the conference to talk about the ERBS’ success in aligning the European beef sector behind a common set of outcome targets to deliver credible, measurable, positive progress in beef sustainability, while maintaining the flexibility required for each Platform to develop its own locally relevant approach for achieving these goals. This is particularly pertinent on a global level as the GRSB attempts to advance, support, and communicate continuous improvement in the sustainability of the global beef value chain through leadership, science, and multi-stakeholder engagement and collaboration.

“It was inspiring to see that there is a global ambition to work as an overall agricultural community and take a landscape approach, while adding value to all parts of the chain and building long term trust.”

Rozanne Davis, ERBS Director, SAI Platform.

ERBS co-chair Nigel Edwards was also in attendance, contributing to this global event in a panel discussion, further highlighting ERBS’ important role in the global beef value chain.

“Climate change is the key consumer issue and we discussed how to overcome the gross misrepresentation of beef farming by gathering the facts and building a compelling story about the progress being made by farmers and industry. Meeting the leaders of many of the other global platforms will continue to help us to build strong links where we share common goals. The GRSB has helped us to create a critical space and a new model for supply chain collaboration is forming which gives me the confidence that our shared vision will be fulfilled” commented Nigel Edwards, Group CSR Director, Hilton Food Group Plc.

Sustainability is one of the biggest challenges facing humanity today and the conference clearly demonstrated this sense of urgency. There is a high level of commitment from the beef sector, at both a global and European level, to actively face these challenges by taking practical action to become more environmentally responsible, economically resilient, and socially beneficial. Global events such as this are important to track progress, enable knowledge sharing, and drive change across the industry.

The conference put a spotlight on global goals regarding climate, nature and animal health and welfare. The group also explored issues regarding communicating beef sustainability, global markets, and complex supply chains.

Open and honest discussions focused on the importance of advancing all topics of beef sustainability in tandem. There was a lot of debate around the financialisation of nature, with members highlighting the positive role this can play but also warning about the need for this to be managed carefully to avoid unintended consequences.

“This was a really informative and worthwhile event, which we at Dawn Meats were proud to co-sponsor again this year. Tangible progress was reported on our ERBS sustainability goals and was well received by attendees, on this 10th anniversary event, celebrating the founding of the GRSB”

Richard Clinton, Group Commercial Director, Dawn Meats.

The roundtables reached the consensus that there is a need for new models of supply chain collaboration that better distribute benefits and costs across the chain. Another critical point concluded was the value of data in supporting the credibility of the beef sector, but also in generating transparency and trust all along the value chain. There is also value in different sectors within agriculture learning from each other, such as the work the seafood sector has done in engaging the retail end of the value chain.

Overall, there was common agreement that trust and belief in working together will be key in advancing the sustainability of beef production. While many challenges were identified, discussions clearly confirmed the commitment to overcoming barriers and advancing sustainability as an industry, with the key takeaway being a positive one: The global beef sector has co-created a unique space and it is crucial that as an industry, it can fully align to leverage this window of opportunity.