After receiving more than 450 comments from its first public comment period, the US Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (USRSB) released an updated Sustainability Framework for a second round of feedback. The public can submit comments to the revised Sustainability Framework through December 20.
The USRSB Sustainability Framework was developed over the course of three years by more than 200 industry stakeholders from the beef value chain. USRSB says its framework is "comprised of resources that explore key environmental, social and economic factors, and capitalizes on individual, voluntary efforts the industry can implement to assess and improve its overall sustainability."
The full set of resources was initially released June 1 for a nation-wide 60-day public comment period.
The USRSB focuses on what some label as a "triple bottom line." USRSB phrases it this way: "The mission helps advance the larger Vision of the organization: To make the U.S. beef value-chain the trusted global leader in environmentally sound, socially responsible and economically viable beef."
Three emphases of the revised USRSB Framework include:
- Recusal from sustainable market program or regulatory affairs — The USRSB added clarifying language to define its role in sustainable beef markets. This language states that the USRSB Framework can be implemented in the marketplace, but no certification or verification program will be led by the USRSB. It also said the USRSB will not engage in regulatory or lobbying activities.
- Support for judicious use of antibiotics in beef production — The USRSB included language that reaffirmed its commitment to antibiotic stewardship using Antibiotic Judicious Use Guidelines developed by the Beef Quality Assurance in the cow-calf and feedyard sectors. The USRSB also shared its support for the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef statement on antibiotic stewardship, which aligns with the World Organization for Animal Health guidance.
- Additional greenhouse gas emissions science — The USRSB provided additional information on sources and practices that could "mitigate emissions or improve carbon sequestration across all segments of the beef value chain."
A final set of resources for the beef value chain will be revealed May 2019 in Fresno, California, during the USRSB General Assembly meeting.
Use this link to learn more about the USRSB Sustainability Framework. To participate in the final 30-day public comment period, go to www.usrsbframework.org/index.php/how-to-comment/