The GRSB is a global initiative developed to advance continuous improvement in sustainability of the global beef value chain through leadership, science, engagement and collaboration.
“This is about B+LNZ on behalf of New Zealand beef farmers and the wider industry stepping up into a global leadership role,” says CEO Sam McIvor. “It is also recognition of the high standing of New Zealand and our beef farmers when it comes to sustainability globally.
“B+LNZ’s new environmental strategy, which has been developed with farmers, is focused on thriving biodiversity, cleaner water, healthy soils and driving towards carbon neutrality.
“Our farmers are out there doing really great things on their farms. Beef and sheep farmers are protecting biodiversity and make up 47% of the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust’s covenants, while 60% of new covenants last year were on beef and sheep farm land. Overall, New Zealand beef and sheep farmers have 2.7 million hectares of indigenous habitat on their farms.
“Beef and sheep farmers have reduced their total Greenhouse Gas emissions to 19% below their 1990 levels, while producing high quality pasture raised premium beef and lamb with fewer emissions per kilo of product.
“However, the next steps to carbon neutrality are challenging. Our first step is to provide the tools to farmers so that they measure exactly where they are on their farms, and then provide options for what management practices they can apply to reduce carbon emissions. B+LNZ also has a significant investment in research to find GHG solutions.
“We know there is work to do on water quality in some areas and our farmers are committed to getting waterways swimmable within a generation. There are catchment groups up and down the country working together to ensure we maintain or improve water quality.
“We’re also in the early stages of developing a NZ beef roundtable in partnership with processors, dairy industry partners and farmers and the wider public.
“This will be focused on how we as a beef industry demonstrate continuous improvement across all aspects of sustainability including the environmental, economic, social and cultural areas and position our beef industry as not only good for New Zealand but good for the world too.”