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Empathy and community key to McDonald's approach to beef sustainability.
McDonald’s Sustainable Beef Pilot Project
McDonald’s Sustainable Beef Pilot Project - McDonald's Restaurants of Canada

The Great Debate Chasing Efficiency Will Lead to Positive Environmental and Social Outcomes
Debate: Global Beef's Role - Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef

What is happening with food consumer demand, beliefs, and reality? Cameron Bruett, Head, Corporate Affairs, JBS USA & Pilgrims and President of the Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, provides a reality check for meat producers and what media concerns are influencing consumers. Mr. Bruett's take away: Keep focused on what you are really trying to accomplish.

Daniel Meyer explains what Roundtable for Responsible Soy is about and how it is being developed. This new sustainable soy initiative has developed governance, a sustainable definition, and a process to certify soy operation as sustainable. Key take aways: 1) Successful sustainability communication is tailored to different circumstances and contexts, 2) Attention to the myths of sustainability! and 3) Make the complex look simple and work on accessibility.

Kim Essex, Senior Vice President, Director, North American Food Practice, Ketchum, shares the stories that science does not always resonate well for consumers with respect to food and agriculture. Using the lead around the idea of "if only everyone recognized farmers' need to feed the world", Ms. Essex looks at what Food 2020 looks like and the messages that consumers hear.

Her take aways: 1) Be a listener, 2) Acknowledge concerns, and 3) Take actions that demonstrate authenticity and accountability.

Dr. Kim Stackhouse, Director of Sustainability Research, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, shares the dos & don'ts discovered in the USA on doing lifecycle assessments. Dr. Stackhouse says it is important to remember that "Zero impact is not possible": there are tradeoffs and food production will result in an impact and the the goal is improvement over time.

Dr. Stackhouse concludes with the importance of having good science as a baseline for sharing beef sustainability stories over time.

This panel discussion with Dr. Marty Matlock (University of Arkansas), Dr. Kim Stackhouse (National Cattlemen's Beef Association), Brian Lindsay (SAI Platform), and Karin Kreider (Executive Director, ISEAL Alliance) addresses challenges in sustainable beef. Two of them: 1) how to develop sustainability indicators and, 2) what is the role of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef.

Brian Lindsay, Project Leader, Beef Working Group, explains what the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Platform is about and how it developed. The collaboration group was created in 2002 by the food industry to promote sustainable agriculture worldwide. Mr. Lindsay shares how the definition of sustainability was developed and what members do to help support the initiative. Mr. Lindsay concludes with an outline of the SAI timeline and goals.

Dr. Stephen Koontz, Colorado State University, talks about the economics of the fed cattle markets and the issues with thinning cash trade. Dr. Koontz's key take aways: "Free markets are not free": markets require and consume resources and are expensive.

Dr. Koontz suggested that producers need to make market function & survival the result of an industry-level decision & not something that "just happens".

Dr. Lee Schultz, Iowa State University, talks about the importance of the international beef markets and the growth opportunities that can happen. There are elements of trust that needs to be nurtured over time to help grow the beef markets. Dr. Schultz highlights various metrics of Iowa beef and how they can be the information to help drive international beef growth.

Beef Demand: Clarifying Concepts, Summarizing Status, and Discussing Future Opportunities - Dr. Lee Schultz, Iowa State University, from the 2014 Iowa Cattle Industry Convention, December 8 - 10, 2014, Des Moines IA, USA