Canadian sustainable beef logo now available

Marketing: News Roundup from the Oct. 22 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

The newly unveiled Canadian sustainable beef logo.

A new logo will help Canadian consumers identify a beef product produced under certified sustainable standards.

The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) officially launched its certification marks and the accompanying Communications, Claims and Labelling Guide on September 20 at its annual general meeting in Calgary. The marks and claims will be used in the Canadian marketplace to signify that companies are sourcing at least 30 per cent of their beef from Canadian farms and ranches certified as meeting CRSB sustainability, standards.

The standards and assurance system on which the logos and claims are based were introduced in December 2017 in the CRSB’s Certified Sustainable Beef Framework.

Certification marks can be used by CRSB-certified beef producers and processors, as well as companies and retailers sourcing beef from certified operations. The requirements for use of the marks, along with the specific claims linked to each mark, are provided in the guide.

“A variety of claims options have been developed and designed to provide everyone an opportunity to communicate about what sustainability means for them depending on the user’s role in the beef value chain,” said Jeffrey Fitzpatrick-Stilwell, senior manager of North American sustainability at McDonald’s Canada and CRSB council member.

Of the two certification marks developed, the primary mark can be used by producers and processors to illustrate that they are CRSB-certified. It can also be used by companies selling beef products sourced through the two segregated chain of custody models outlined by the CRSB’s Framework.

The first version of the logo denotes beef that can be traced back to a certified operation, and has not been mixed with beef from non-certified operations; in short, it’s 100 per cent CRSB-certified beef.

The second version (see below) represents a mass balance chain of custody model. A company has to source a minimum of 30 per cent of the total volume from CRSB-certified operations to qualify to use this mark.

The CRSB’s Certified Sustainable Beef Framework sets out the standards for sustainable beef production that must be met by both producers and processors to become certified. photo: Supplied

“Based on legal advice and consumer research data, a differentiated logo was recommended to show products that are sourced using the internationally recognized mass balance model where a portion of the company or the brand’s beef volume is sourced from certified operations,” said Fitzpatrick-Stilwell.

McDonald’s Canada is the first retailer to use the certification mark for mass balance for their Angus Beef lineup, featured in a national TV advertising campaign. The CRSB is eager to work with other retailers interested in sourcing beef from certified operations and using the marks and claims.

“McDonald’s was pushing this for many years,” said Fitzpatrick-Stilwell, adding that the goal of the company was to be the first retailer to be able to use the CRSB certification mark. “We wanted to invest, make the investment, do the acceleration, work with our partners at Cargill in getting us to that place that we could be first, but I want someone to be second the very next day because it does nobody any good if we’re the only people using that mark in the marketplace.

“So I really encourage everyone to pick one of the logos, get using them, and people who have the ability for product claims seriously consider getting there as soon as you can and working with your supply chain to do that because that’s how we’re going to build credibility with our consumers and that’s what’s going to build this brand.”

To learn more about the claims and requirements for using the marks, download the Communications, Claims and Labelling Guide available on the CRSB Framework website (

The meeting also saw Anne Wasko start her term as the new CRSB Council chair. Wasko, a cattle market analyst with Gateway Livestock Exchange who ranches at Eastend, Sask., takes the helm from Cherie Copithorne-Barnes, a rancher from Cochrane, Alta.

During the council elections, Greg Bowie of Alberta Beef Producers and Bob Lowe of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association were elected to the two available supply chain stakeholder positions for producer organizations. Ryan Clisdell of Cargill was acclaimed to the one available supply chain stakeholder position for processor organizations, and Fitzpatrick-Stilwell was acclaimed to the one available supply chain stakeholder position for retail and food service. Tim Hardman, representing the World Wildlife Fund, was elected to the associate member — NGO position, while Les Wall was elected as a member-at-large on behalf on the National Cattle Feeder’s Association.

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