The Beef Working Group, which includes McDonald’s Europe, Unilever and Vion Food Group, will meet in Paris on February, 24, to discuss principles from the SAI Platform (Sustainable Agriculture Initiative).
Guidelines set by the group include how animal excrement is managed to prevent/minimize environmental impacts, and to protect human health and traceability so all cattle on a farm is individually identified and registered during all stages of its life.
“To date there has been no widely agreed definition of what sustainable beef looks like,” said Keith Kenny, senior director, supply chain, McDonald’s Europe.
Supply chain food processors
“The SAI Platform has successfully brought together producers and processors from across the supply chain, along with key retailers as knowledge exchange partners, to establish a set of Principles for Sustainable Beef Farming that we can all support.”
The SAI Platform has created guidelines based on proven dairy principles, in collaboration with representatives from the food industry, retailers and The Global Roundtable with Sustainable Beef.
Other members of group include Inalca, OSI Food Solutions UK, Bord Bia, McKey Food Service, Quality Meat Scotland, Livestock and Meat Commission for Northern Ireland, ABP, Beef and Lamb New Zealand, FAI Farms, Nestec, Dawn Meats, Novus International and EBLEX.
VION Food Germany
“Most important for us was the collaborative approach of the initiative,” said Dr. Gereon Schulze Althoff, director quality assurance, VION Food Germany.
“Together, we succeeded in defining a baseline for the industry on which specific actions towards sustainable farming can be developed.”
The guidelines comply with national laws and regulations and adoption of the principles should ensure production of safe beef that protects and improves the natural environment, the social and economic conditions of farmers, their employees and local communities, and safeguards the health and welfare of cattle.
Charlie Coakley, group environmental manager, Dawn Meats, said the SAI Platform provides a solid framework for beef producers and will allow firms to strengthen suppliers’ sustainable practices.