GFM Network News


Comment: Will sustainable beef pay?

[Updated: Sept. 14, 2017] – Finally. After years of discussion and planning and surveying and researching, the Canadian version of Verified Sustainable Beef is about to face its ultimate test in the marketplace. It begins this October with the soft launch of the Canadian Beef Sustainability Acceleration pilot in which Cargill, the Beef InfoXchange System […] Read more

VBP helps keep beef in the game

No one has to participate in the verified beef program, but consumers and the food industry are starting to call the shots

Les Johnston figures if he wants to continue to sell beef, and hopefully tap into top or higher-value markets, he needs to be able to show buyers as well as consumers he is doing a good job. The southern Saskatchewan rancher is a believer in the Canadian Verified Beef Production (VBP) program. He was doing […] Read more


Producer Bob Lowe says the Canadian beef industry needs to get behind producing verified sustainable beef.

Sustainable beef is within our grasp

McDonald’s Restaurant project set the tone for Canadian beef industry

Alberta cattleman Bob Lowe didn’t have to do any management back flips on his ranch to produce cattle that under a recently completed pilot project qualify as “verifiable sustainable beef.” He has always aimed to apply sound production and environmental practices with his 500-head commercial cow-calf operation and 7,000-head-capacity southern Alberta feedlot. He and family […] Read more

Earls retreats from U.S. beef sourcing

Canadian upscale-casual dining chain Earls Restaurants has pulled back from its recent public commitment to the “Certified Humane Beef” brand. Mo Jessa, president of Vancouver-based Earls, said Wednesday the company will instead begin to “work with local ranchers to build our supply of Alberta beef that meets our criteria” for animal care and treatment. The […] Read more


The Longview 4-H Beef Club organized a McDonald’s pilot verified sustainable beef workshop that attracted 190 participants on November 19 at Longview, Alta.

McDonald’s Canadian Youth Beef Club video contest promotes sustainable beef

News Roundup from the January 2016 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

What started as an impromptu conversation between organizers of McDonald’s Canada’s verified sustainable beef (VSB) pilot and leaders of the Longview 4-H Beef Club in Alberta has snowballed into a Canadian youth beef club video contest. Longview club leaders, Stephen Hughes, Alex Robertson and Ryan Cartwright, whose operations have gone through the VSB verification process, […] Read more

Comment: Is it time to raise the national checkoff?

For much of this year you have read or heard about Canada’s national beef strategy, but this fall the attention of the cattle associations across the country will swing around to paying for the strategy. A campaign is being put together for provincial cattle organizations to present the argument for raising the national mandatory checkoff […] Read more



Cherie Copithorne-Barnes, CEO of CL Ranches.

The new world of ‘sustainable beef’

Straight talk on what it means, where welfare fits and what the future holds

Who’s driving this bus? Amid ‘grocery wars,’ Jamie Oliver, ‘hormone free’ Walmart and a storm of related debate, this is the core question many producers and others in animal agriculture have about the new swath of expectations and ‘sustainability’ programs taking hold throughout the industry and the marketplace. One person with a unique, up close […] Read more


McDonald’s Corporation president and CEO Steve Easterbrook (centre) and McDonald’s Canada president and CEO John Betts talk to Graeme Finn (right) on a tour of his ranch near Crossfield on 
June 9.

McDonald’s ‘verified sustainable beef’ project steams ahead

Visit to Alberta from McDonald's global CEO signals a sea change in the Canadian beef industry

It’s full speed ahead for McDonald’s “verified sustainable beef” project. The country’s largest buyer of beef is finishing up the first phase of its groundbreaking pilot project in Canada, and earlier this month the head of the global fast-food giant paid a visit to Alberta to get a first-hand look. Recently appointed CEO Steve Easterbrook […] Read more

Guenther: McDonald’s sustainability goals to reach beyond beef

Farmers who want to keep supplying the world’s biggest quick-service restaurant chains can expect more scrutiny of their methods going forward. That’s because the chains’ customers appear to be looking for more sustainably-produced food — so companies such as McDonald’s in turn are looking for third-party verification to prove the ingredients they source make the […] Read more