Sustainable agriculture is a popular environmental concept, and fast becoming a well-worn catchphrase. But according to Greg Bowie, chair of Alberta Beef Producers, sustainability was a practice among Alberta beef ranchers long before it became a trendy topic of conversation among consumers.
“The ranching community has been around Alberta for well over 100 years, and a lot of the land they operate on is in as good, or better, condition than it was when they first came to this province with cattle,” says Bowie.
Now, a new initiative by McDonald’s — the fast food giant whose livelihood depends on burgers — is driving home the message that beef can be produced in a sustainable fashion, one that creates healthy food and respects the planet, and cattle producers, at the same time.
Bowie is part of a pilot project that will see McDonald’s purchasing, in 2016, an as-yet-to-be-determined portion of its beef from sources that are verified sustainable. The project’s goal is to develop an independent system to measure and verify sustainability, to be run in Canada through the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef.
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