The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef Framework
Sustainability – in terms of food production, you may have heard it associated with organic foods or when “farm-to-table” is discussed, but this sustainability goes beyond that. While it means something different to everyone, it’s definitely has a focus around reducing waste, decreasing packaging and limiting processed foods. Basically, eliminating the negative environmental consequences and providing you a cleaner food product. With the help of groups and communities like the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB), the food industry continues to move toward a more sustainable future. This week we head North to take a look at CRSB and provide a look at what this community of stakeholders has dedicated to in order continue producing food sustainably, specifically their Certified Sustainable Beef Framework certification.
Who They Are?
The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) is made up of multiple collaborative stakeholders in the Canadian Beef industry. These members are comprised of organizations across the beef value chain and beyond. From ranchers, academic institutions, foodservice companies to non-government associations, these members all share the same vision to change the beef industry. They take pride in being socially responsible, economically viable, environmentally sound and not only prioritizing the people, but the planet and animals too.
Today, the CRSB has adopted five specific guiding principles for its dedication and work in Canada. These core principles include natural resources, food, people and the community, animal welfare, innovation and efficiency. Each of these helps define beef sustainability. This allows the group to identify opportunities for improvement and highlight areas where the industry is excelling. CRSB certification gives producers the proof they are doing things right.
The CRSB Certified Sustainable Beef Framework Certification
Closing the gap between certified food and consumer demand is quite the task. So how is the gap closed? By certifying more food producers, ranchers, and farmers. Where Food Comes From partners with CRSB to educate producers about the importance of verification and the process that goes along with it. The Certified Sustainable Beef Framework is a certification standard that certifies farms, ranches and processing facilities. This gives them the ability to carry a certified sustainable operation label. They also assist the retail and the food service industry with their sustainable beef sourcing efforts. To you, the consumer, this means that credible transparent messaging about your food is occurring through marketing efforts and product labeling.
Developed with multiple purposes in mind, the framework balances consumer needs while advancing beef sustainability in Canada. This includes recognizing best practices in the industry, supporting supply chains interested in making the move, and avoiding duplicated efforts when it comes to verifying operations.
In order to get certified, ranches must follow specific steps outlined by the CRSB. These steps are outlined below:
Inform– Track records and engage with current CRSB materials
Engage– Gather necessary information, agree on date, start audit preparations
Audit/Certify – Conduct audit and review report. Respond to any corrective actions
Maintain– Audit cycle is 5 years. Maintain your certificate with annual surveillance requirements
Improve – Engage in audit cycle and identify opportunities for improvement
Once results of the audit are reviewed, a certificate is issued or corrective actions are issued to be completed within a specific amount of time. The CRSB helps support each of these steps by providing the indicators that are audited, lists of requirements, and how to communicate to the public once they are certified. This is truly a collaborative process. CRSB is enabling consumers to purchase sustainably sourced products because of their transparency and education. They are raising the bar when it comes to sustainable beef.
To learn more about CRSB check out this video.
Where to find CRSB Certified food?
While the Certified Sustainable Beef Framework certification is new, it is quickly taking off. Just recently Harvey’s was added to the list of approved food chains to take part in the program. McDonald’s, Loblaws, Swiss Chalet, Original Joe’s and Cactus Club are also partners in the sustainable beef pilot program.