The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) had their meeting in Columbia with CRSB Chair, Ryan Bierbach attending in person and Executive Director, Monica Hadarits, participating on zoom.
Beierbach chaired this year’s National Roundtable Meeting where discussions around beef sustainability on a global level took place. The topic of “regenerative agriculture” was noted to be gaining traction in some parts of the world resulting in discussions on its applicability to beef sustainability. It was determined that regenerative agriculture is the topic of improving factors such as soil and water and is encompassed by sustainability. Other topics discussed included; programs other countries are using to sell sustainable beef, ways to verify producers with reduced cost, and the importance of recognizing this model internationally.
GRSB held a directors meeting where they discussed what their role is nationally, the importance of supporting the producers, and impact incentives to support farmers.
Attendees were taken on a farm tour to learn more about beef production in Columbia.
“There is a wide variety of production systems that vary from supervising cattle grazing on the side of the road to using electric fencing to intensively manage grazing. There is also a wide range of environments ranging from very dry in the dry season to wetter, mountains to flat land. Cattle on almost all the land we saw, very little crop land.” – Ryan Bierbach.
They were able to see the differences in beef production in a different part of the world where they finish cattle at 3-4 years old and their difference in fertility, expecting a calf every 2 years instead of every year. They were able to hear about the different issues producers face such as keeping grasslands from growing back to forests as much of their land started out as bush/forests and troubles with soil erosion.
Overall, it was a great opportunity to learn more about how other countries are approaching beef sustainability, challenges other countries face and how Canada can help, and a chance to reflect on the CRSB’s efforts.