Last week, the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) and Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) hosted a virtual conversation series in anticipation of the upcoming United Nations Food Systems Summit. The discussion explored the vital role that grazing livestock play in providing both nutritious and nature-positive solutions for Canada.
Over three days, participants heard from a range of experts spanning the breadth of the supply chain, from production to consumption. Unique to these UN Dialogues is their emphasis on small-group discussion, an opportunity for attendees to further explore concepts introduced by the experts during the plenary session. More than 100 diverse stakeholders came together for a bold, solutions-oriented conversation on best practices and to reflect on continuous improvement.
Themes included the importance of collaboration, the need for regional approaches and diversity of production systems, the usefulness of measurable benchmarks and the nutritional importance of beef in the diet. CCA and NCC’s dialogue is in response to a global narrative to reduce meat consumption, particularly in developing countries.
“It is our firm belief that this would be detrimental to the UN Food Systems’ Summits’ goal of improving the food system and harmful to both people and planet,” said Bob Lowe, CCA president. “Grazing livestock contributes to the environmental, social and economic fabric of Canada - the three facets that make up the definition of sustainability.”
This is only the beginning of CCA’s work on the United Food Systems Summit, which takes place this fall. Insight and feedback gathered from the sessions will be analyzed and formally provided to the United Nations. This is the first step of many to ensure the Canadian grazing livestock perspective is heard by the international forum.