Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 28

SUSTAINABILITY

The most important sustainability issue for the global beef supply chain
Food Nutrition and Food Safety 25.25% Land Management 21.21%

Energy 2.02% Labor and Business 3.03% Community 6.06% Bio-diverse Populations 9.09%
Source: The Global Conference on Sustainable Beef

Water Access and Quality 20.20%

Greenhouse Gas Emission 13.13%

not feasible in their operations and communities. Each question includes links to information about potential programs and practices under way within the industry.

Quantifying sustainability
On a broader level, 60 stakeholders from the global beef system gathered in Washington, DC, last June at the first Beef Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) Working Group. As noted earlier, the group identified seven key impacts. It also listed seven key “takeaways” that resulted from its discussions about LCAs. To further their utility, beef LCAs should include all relevant impacts in addition to greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), said the group. LCAs should also be able to access a common database that is unique to the beef supply system and readily accessible to multiple stakeholders. They should have equally transparent input assumptions and sensitivity/ confidence level of outputs. The group offered seven other points about sustainability. Relatively few beef LCAs have been developed and significant variations in LCA methodology exist, it said. So there is a need to identify and close the significant gap in open-sourced data. The identification and prioritization of impacts of beef should be

highlighted in an LCA. A scan of LCAs can provide insights for use by the beef industry to highlight the positive impacts and address negatives. Consistent allocation of impacts across beef and the resulting co-products is needed to provide the users of LCAs with clear expectations of how the output was created. Approximately 80 percent of emissions originate before harvesting the animal. Finally, other tools are avail-

Sustainability has become increasingly central to the way US meat and poultry companies conduct business.
able and may be more appropriate to answer questions, the group said. The initial meeting set the stage for a tour of the US beef industry by some of the meeting’s participants. The tour included a retail distribution center, a beef processing plant, a cattle feedlot, a gasifier operation and a seedstock ranch. The group listed five key takeaways from the tour, including: understanding the challenges and trade-offs that exist in sustainability efforts (e.g. food safety vs. water use); the drive for improved sustainability

creates opportunities for innovation; pre-competitive collaboration by industry to find solutions; critical nature of the beef system being aligned in its focus; genetic improvements in cattle breeding to improve efficiency, animal health and beef quality take many years and significant investment. The Global Conference on Sustainable Beef in November convened all elements of the global beef supply chain and a diverse array of other key stakeholders, including academics, scientists and NGO leaders for a dialogue about the current state of sustainability in the beef industry. The conference, according to reports, produced robust feedback centered on the “triple bottom line”, to be environmentally, socially and economically sustainable. At the conference’s conclusion, its hosts challenged participants to incorporate this feedback to develop on-theground programs that enhance sustainable beef, driven by new relationships developed at the conference. One important takeaway was identification of key issues. When participants were asked what is the most important sustainability issue for the global beef supply chain, the responses broke down as follows: food nutrition and food safety, 25 percent; land management, 21 percent; water access and quality, 20 percent; greenhouse gas emission, 13 percent; bio-diverse populations, 9 percent; community, 6 percent; labor and business, 3 percent; and energy, 2 percent. Three issues thus accounted for two-thirds of the responses. These impact every part of the global beef supply chain and the US meat and poultry industry. The responses provide important guidelines as to what the industry will focus on to further improve its sustainability. ■
Steve Kay is editor and publisher of Petaluma, Calif.-based Cattle Buyers Weekly (www. cattlebuyersweekly.com ).   We would like to hear from you – to comment on this story or to request reprints, contact us by e-mail at meatpoultry@sosland.com.

28 • Meat&Poultry • March 2011 • www.MeatPoultry.com



Meat&Poultry - March 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meat&Poultry - March 2011

Meat&Poultry - March 2011
Commentary - Defense mechanisms
Hormel earnings up 34 percent in first quarter
Cargill introduces Fressure patties
Maple Leaf earnings hit by input costs
Sanderson Farms touts record FY2010
Grant allows XL Foods to double capacity
Townsends poultry ops sold after bankruptcy
JBS reports positive results of food-safety technology
Taco Bell launches new beef image TV ads
Catfish inspection gets political
Sustainability strides
E xperience counts
THE TOP 125 PROCESSORS - Winner’s circle
THE TOP 125 PROCESSORS - Alphabetical listing by company name
THE TOP 125 PROCESSORS - by rank
Small Business Matters - Duty calls
Food Ingredient Solutions - Delectable pairings
Processing Innovations - Everything but the squeal
Sanitation - Cleaning passion
Food Safety - Reassigning resources
Food Safety - Food-safety fortress
Packaging Solutions - Packaging under pressure
New Product Rollouts - Unveiling ideas
New Products
Labor - Questioning benefi ts
Names in the News
New Product Showcase
Classified Advertising
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - Meat&Poultry - March 2011
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 2
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 3
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 4
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 5
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Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - Commentary - Defense mechanisms
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 9
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - Hormel earnings up 34 percent in first quarter
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 11
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - Maple Leaf earnings hit by input costs
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 13
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - Sanderson Farms touts record FY2010
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 15
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - Townsends poultry ops sold after bankruptcy
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 17
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - Taco Bell launches new beef image TV ads
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 19
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - Catfish inspection gets political
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 21
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - Sustainability strides
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 23
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 24
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 25
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Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - E xperience counts
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Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - THE TOP 125 PROCESSORS - Winner’s circle
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 37
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - THE TOP 125 PROCESSORS - Alphabetical listing by company name
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 39
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Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - THE TOP 125 PROCESSORS - by rank
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Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 60
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 61
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - Small Business Matters - Duty calls
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 63
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Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 65
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 66
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 67
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - Food Ingredient Solutions - Delectable pairings
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 69
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Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 75
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - Processing Innovations - Everything but the squeal
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 77
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Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 82
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - Sanitation - Cleaning passion
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - Food Safety - Reassigning resources
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 85
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 86
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 87
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - Food Safety - Food-safety fortress
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Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 96
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 97
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - Packaging Solutions - Packaging under pressure
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Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 102
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Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 104
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - New Product Rollouts - Unveiling ideas
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - New Products
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Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - Labor - Questioning benefi ts
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - Names in the News
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - New Product Showcase
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Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 112
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 113
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 114
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 115
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 116
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - Classified Advertising
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