WWF and Beef Industry Leaders Seek Advancements in Sustainable Beef Production

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Conference will convene stakeholders to explore environmental, economic and social impacts of beef

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On a finite planet, sustainability is as important to long-term business success as it is for conservation and protecting wildlife.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and global leaders from the beef industry today announced their intent to bring together the full breadth of industry stakeholders to move global beef production to a more sustainable system through open and balanced dialogue.

“On a finite planet, sustainability is as important to long-term business success as it is for conservation and protecting wildlife,” said Jason Clay, senior vice president of markets at WWF. “By carrying out a dialogue with broad representation of all stakeholders in the global beef system, we can make great strides in expanding best practices and developing strong global standards for sustainable beef production.”

The Global Conference on Sustainable Beef will serve as a unique forum to review current sustainability practices and begin to build alignment around key impacts, both positive and negative, of the beef system.

Cargill, Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, JBS, McDonald’s and WWF will convene stakeholders and work to establish a process that may result in developing global voluntary, market-based standards for the beef industry. The event will take place from November 1-3 in Denver, Colorado.

Possible next steps following the conference include expanding local multi-stakeholder programs that are economically viable, environmentally sustainable and socially responsible as well as the creation of Regional Sustainable Beef Roundtables to guide the development of standards for sustainable beef production.

With global populations expected to peak at more than 9 billion by 2050, there is growing interest in sustainability and securing natural resources for the benefit of people, the planet and wildlife.

The global organizations convening this conference each have a stake in making the beef system more sustainable. These leaders will come prepared for a constructive dialogue about how to improve industry sustainability by exploring and clarifying the environmental, economic and social impacts of a sustainable beef system. Through this approach, stakeholders will share better management practices to drive continuous improvement in sustainability of the beef system.

“McDonald’s is proud to work with stakeholders throughout the beef industry on efforts aimed at addressing sustainability in beef production globally,” said Jessica Droste Yagan, director of Sustainable Supply for McDonald’s. “We recognize that beef production has significant impacts on the environment, people, and animals – positive and negative, and believe that all beef production systems can make important contributions towards improved sustainability. We want to help highlight and promote the better management practices that could drive those contributions more quickly.”

The Conference program, developed to encourage dialogue and build partnerships, will include a series of panel discussions, plenary sessions and breakout meetings.

The conference is currently structured around three key pillars:

1) Science and Research: participants will present research and identify top sustainability production challenges and opportunities;

2) Better Management Practices: participants will share experiences, practices and operations, addressing hurdles and solutions along the way; and

3) Dialogue: participants will work to increase alignment around the key impacts of the beef system and identify approaches that promote sustainable beef practices worldwide.

The conference website can be found at http://www.SustainableLivestock.com, where news, program descriptions, outcomes and speaker details will appear leading up to and following the event.

Press Contacts

Mike Martin, Cargill
(316) 291-2126 – office
(316) 258-4627 – mobile
Michael_martin(at)cargill(dot)com

Sharon Dilling, Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health
(908) 473-3390 – office
(908) 723-5278 – mobile
sharon(dot)dilling(at)merck(dot)com

Chandler Keys, JBS USA
(202) 907-4253 – office
Chandler(dot)Keys(at)jbssa(dot)com

Lisa McComb, McDonald’s
(630) 623-3707 – office
(630) 484-1158 – mobile
Lisa(dot)McComb(at)us(dot)mcd(dot)com

Nick Conger, WWF
(202) 495-4668 – office
(202) 290-5454 – mobile
nick(dot)conger(at)wwfus(dot)org

About Cargill
Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 138,000 people in 67 countries. Cargill helps customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is committed to applying its global knowledge and experience to help meet economic, environmental and social challenges wherever it does business. For more information, visit http://www.cargill.com.

About Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health
Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, based in Boxmeer, the Netherlands, is focused on the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of animal health products. The company offers customers one of the broadest, most innovative animal health portfolios, spanning products to support performance and to prevent, treat and control disease in all major farm and companion animal species. Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health is a fully owned business unit of Merck & Co., Inc., based in Whitehouse Station NJ, USA. For more information about Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health visit: http://www.intervet.com and http://www.merck.com.

About JBS
JBS is currently the world's largest beef producer and exporter with a daily harvesting capacity of 90,390 head of cattle and the largest global exporter of processed beef. The company's operations include 58 production units in Brazil and 6 plants located in 4 Argentine provinces, in addition to 50 plants in the US, 3 in Mexico, 10 in Australia, 8 in Italy, 1 in China and 1 in Russia. More information about JBS S.A. is available at http://www.jbs.com.br/ir/.

About McDonald's
McDonald's is the leading global foodservice retailer with more than 32,000 local restaurants in more than 100 countries. About 80% of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by franchisees. Please visit our website at http://www.aboutmcdonalds.com to learn more about the Company.

About World Wildlife Fund
WWF is the world’s leading conservation organization, working in 100 countries for nearly half a century. With the support of almost 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, halt the degradation of the environment and combat climate change. Visit http://www.worldwildlife.org to learn more.

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