Sustainable Beef Resource Center debuts

by Bryan Salvage
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DENVER — Beef-industry leaders learned about the new Sustainable Beef Resource Center (S.B.R.C.) and its mission to provide useful, science-based information to the entire food chain while attending the recently held Cattle Industry Summer Conference in Denver. The S.B.R.C. is now working with third-party experts to create an environmental-impact model and economic analysis of technologies used to help produce wholesome, affordable beef.

A library of data previously assembled by the Growth Enhancement Technology Information Team (G.E.T.I.T.) as also maintained by the S.B.R.C.

“S.B.R.C. members clearly see our organization’s role as that of a go-to resource for associations, coalitions, academia and other industry stakeholders — organizations that already are trusted information sources regarding how beef is produced,” said Paul Parker, S.B.R.C. chairman. “This allows us to zero-in on research that can fill information gaps as the industry continuously improves its ability to produce safe, wholesome beef affordably while using fewer natural resources.”

Included in S.B.R.C.’s library of research are six white papers on topics ranging from the 50-year impact of pharmaceutical technologies on beef provided to consumers to the economic and environmental benefits of current-day beef-management practices. The organization’s Web site (www.SustainableBeef.org) also features beef-production facts, as well as talking points about the environmental and economic benefits of beef technologies.

Also highlighted in the S.B.R.C. Web site are materials used in a recent “eco-friendly and eco-nomical” marketing campaign. This outreach focused on two topics of interest to consumers: food affordability and environmental sustainability. Organizations interested in using talking points from this campaign can get started by visiting www.SustainableBeef.org.

Two respected academic authorities, who have expertise in beef life-cycle assessment modeling and global agricultural economics, have been commissioned by the S.B.R.C. to develop a new white paper that intends to answer two key questions:

1) What are the productivity and environmental effects of removing growth-enhancing technologies from the U.S. beef-production system?
2) What are the global economic, land-use and environmental implications of the corresponding loss in productivity of the U.S. beef herd if growth-enhancing technologies are not used?

The resulting data will be available in early 2011.

S.B.R.C. invites other organizations and individuals to join its current core membership of representatives from leading U.S. animal-health companies.

Beef producers and branded-beef marketers who recognized the need for a centralized source of facts about technologies used in sustainable beef production suggested forming the S.B.R.C.. Its members include marketing and technical representatives from leading U.S. animal-health companies. S.B.R.C. works with third-party experts to develop factual, science-based information about the important role of technologies in producing safe, wholesome, affordable beef sustainably.
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