Tuesday, September 30, 2014
A group of committed members of the Canadian beef supply chain gathered in Kelowna, British Columbia last week to discuss what sustainable beef looks like in Canada. Approximately 80 people were in attendance representing members of the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) and observers interested in the process.
The meetings consisted of discussion surrounding performance indicators to measure the Core Principles for Sustainable Beef as outlined by the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB); Natural Resources, People and the Community, Animal Health & Well-Being, Food, Efficiency & Innovation. These criteria were put in place by the GRSB and it is the responsibility of the regional roundtables to determine the method of measuring and verifying these criteria in a method that is suitable for the Canadian beef industry.
There was also great discussion surrounding the governance process of the group, what the CRSB Council will look like and the membership of the Roundtable going forward.
For me the highlight of the trip was the visit to Douglas Lake Ranch, a crowd pleaser for the beef industry representatives on the tour as well as the participants from farther up the value chain. This ranch is the largest cattle ranch in Canada and is one of the oldest, tracing its history back to the mid 1880s. They run just shy of 10,000 cows with cattle on the main plot of land at the Douglas Lake location as well as about 1600 cows on the Alkali Ranch location, which is about 50 km southwest of Williams Lake. After a comprehensive bus tour of the property, trying to spot the elusive cattle which were still up in the hills on grass we arrived at the historic Quilchena Hotel; located on the Quilchena Ranch which is now owned and operated by Douglas Lake. This hotel which was built in 1908 was the end of our tour and the location for the rest of the groups meetings.
Posted by Cheryl Hazenberg