The Global Roundtable on Sustainable Beef held their biennial conference in Denver, Colorado from November 7–10. The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) had representation at the conference, with Ryan Beierbach (Chair), Monica Hadarits and Andrea White (staff) in attendance. In total, 16 Canadians attended.
Global Conference on Sustainable Beef kicked off with Communicators’ Summit
The Global Conference on Sustainable Beef, held in Denver Colorado November 7-10, kicked off with an interactive Communicators’ Summit. A small working group of the GRSB Communications Council, lead by Amie Peck, CCA (Chair), with Andrea White (CRSB) and others planned and moderated the summit.
Research conducted by University of Queensland in Australia was presented, looking at the “Tell your Story” approach that many of us use in agriculture communications (i.e. asking our beef producers to tell their story as a means to building consumer trust). The research explored when this works well, and when other approaches need to be used alongside (or instead). A panel with diverse perspectives reacted to the research, including a US beef producer, a marketing & PR agency, and Diana Rodgers – a well-known nutrition and sustainability influencer and advocate.
Consumer research from GRSB members (requested in advance of the conference) was presented, including contributions from Canada Beef and CRSB. Like here in Canada, overall – consumers remain committed to beef. Frequency of consumption decreased in many areas, but many regions also saw a portion of the population increase consumption. Key areas of concern for consumers remain high cost of food (beef in particular) and health, with animal care and environmental sustainability factors also rising in importance, especially for those choosing to limit or eliminate beef in their diet. This highlighted the need for nutrition to be part of the sustainability conversation, which was a topic that resonated throughout the conference.
Workshop sessions lead by Pip Band (Australia) provided the opportunity to discuss how members and stakeholders could incorporate a variety of communications strategies in their own work with broad audiences, as well as discussing the role of the GRSB and its members and Roundtables in beef sustainability communications. The summit was a reported highlight for many attendees, especially with the opportunity to connect with others in diverse regions, sectors and areas of interest.
On November 8th and 9th, the conference sessions covered nature positive production, climate, animal health and welfare, socio-economic development, nutrition, water management, genetics, and collaboration/partnerships. The 12 regional roundtables, including CRSB, also presented on their progress. The conference wrapped up with tours on November 10th.
It was a great opportunity to re-connect with our global network, share learnings, and generate new ideas. The conference highlighted the Canada’s leadership, the urgency of addressing complex problems in a collaborative manner, and the important role beef plays in providing solutions.
The plenary sessions from the conference will be made available on the GRSB’s website in the coming weeks.
Beef Central wrote an article on the conference.