CRSB launches update to National Beef Sustainability Assessment
SEPTEMBER 29, 2021
Be part of the update!
Calling on beef producers to contribute to sustainability benchmarking data collection.
What is the National Beef Sustainability Assessment?
When the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) was established, the definition and guiding principles of beef sustainability in Canada were adopted from the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, as similar organization working to advance sustainability on a global scale.
Sustainable beef is an environmentally sound, socially responsible and economically viable product that prioritizes the Planet, People, Animals and Progress.
The following five guiding principles provide the basis for defining beef sustainability, all of which are underpinned by the importance of economic viability.
To achieve continuous improvement in the sustainability of the Canadian beef industry, three core pillars for the CRSB’s work were identified, one of which is Sustainability Benchmarking.
It was recognized that to determine how to make progress, we needed to know where we were starting from. Therefore, one of the first initiatives that the CRSB undertook in 2014 was to commission a National Beef Sustainability Assessment. The Assessment and accompanying sustainability strategy, released in 2016, provided a comprehensive farm-to-fork baseline of the environmental, social and economic sustainability performance of the Canadian beef industry, and identified areas for improvement. Following international guidelines and standards, the Assessment is based on data collected through surveys with producers and packers, as well as consultations with numerous subject matter experts. Secondary data sources were used to complement the primary industry data collected, including extensive literature reviews and statistical data. The assessment study was guided by a CRSB steering committee and reviewed by an external third-party panel of experts.
Why is it important?
The metrics from our first Assessment, released in 2016, have been widely used to demonstrate Canada’s global sustainability leadership, and have been critically important to the beef industry’s communication efforts with respect to sustainable beef production over the past five years. The NBSA provides concrete, science-based numbers to demonstrate how sustainable the Canadian beef production system is, especially with respect to our environmental footprint. Some of the most impactful numbers we consistently use help to dispel misconceptions about beef production in Canada. Just a few examples include:
- our greenhouse gas footprint (11.4 kg CO2 eq.), which represents only 2.4% of Canada’s total emissions, and in the global context, is less than half the global average;
- our contribution to biodiversity (68% of the wildlife habitat capacity on only 33% of Canadian agricultural land that is used for beef production).
The Sustainability Strategy that accompanied the 2016 Assessment has highlighted key performance indicators and specific action items to target for continuous improvement, which has also helped inform the industry’s 2030 goals completed earlier this year.
The primary data collected from farmers and ranchers across Canada through surveys is a critical piece to the credibility and success of the environmental, land use and social Life Cycle Assessments. This data is complemented by consultations with subject matter experts and scientific data, which is used to derive the modelling assumptions for the assessment results.
How do I participate?
Fill out an NBSA producer survey:
The survey will be open October 1, 2021 closing January 7, 2022.
Be one of the first 200 producers to complete your survey, and you will receive a $20 gift card as a token of our appreciation for taking the time to contribute.
All completed survey responses will be entered into a random draw for a grand prize of a tag reader ($1100 value), generously donated by the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency. A series of other amazing prize packs, valued at a total of over $3000, curated from contributions from CRSB members across the beef value chain and beyond, will be awarded via a random draw (by province or region) from all eligible survey respondents.
Thank you to our amazing network of CRSB members who understand the value of this work, and have contributed to these prizes as a recognition of your time and effort.
For more information about the National Beef Sustainability Assessment and strategy visit crsb.ca. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.