The European Roundtable for Beef Sustainability (ERBS) has highlighted its commitment to delivering a cohesive response to the challenges currently facing the red meat industries across the continent.

The organisation allows Europe’s red meat sector to speak with one voice on issues such as climate change.

The group returned to an in-person event after a three-year hiatus due to Covid-19 and recently gathered in northern France.

The over-arching theme chosen for the meeting was: ‘Igniting Positive Impact Together’.


In practical terms, ERBS unites stakeholders across Europe’s beef value chain to deliver measurable and positive impact and continuous improvement on key sustainability priorities.

The organisation also aligns everyone in working towards measurable progress to the same, agreed, targets, while recognising the diversity of production systems across Europe.

Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) chief executive, Ian Stevenson, is an ERBS board member. He said: “The get-together in France focused on recognising and reflecting the current and future challenges facing the beef sector.

“There was a clear focus on how ERBS can support our members in continuing to drive positive progress on key sustainability topics.”

Two-day beef event in France

Day one of the event started with a field trip to Conteville, where ERBS members had the opportunity of gauging the effectiveness of using CAP’2ER (a multi-criteria calculator to measure greenhouse gas emissions and identify mitigation options) on a dairy, beef and arable farm.

The visit also provided for an assessment of the cattle welfare evaluation tool, Boviwell.

“Both technologies are helping French farmers to assess key factors that impact on the sustainability of their farms,” Stevenson said.

Day two of the meeting provided Richard Brown, a director of international consultancy and research firm Gíra, to present to the group.

He highlighted the unprecedented level of uncertainty and change now impacting on the international beef sector.

“But, on the upside, he also highlighted the growing demand for beef,” Stevenson added.

Thomas Duffy, vice president of the European Council of Young Farmers (CEJA), also addressed the ERBS meeting. He brought the farmer perspective on the challenges facing the beef sector, and the need for solutions to be farmer based.

ERBS draws its membership from across the European region with six aligned platforms now operating in France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland and UK.

“The meeting provided all ERBS members the opportunity to agree priorities and future projects that have the unanimous support of all our stakeholder organisations,” Stevenson added.

Kepak highlighted the work now underway, bringing together science, customers and business in addressing climate action in Ireland.

Representatives of the Germany-based Tonnies group discussed the impact of the ‘BEST Beef’ programme in that country. Specifically they referenced the significant progress made, where animal medicines, animal welfare, farming resilience and GHG reduction measures are concerned.

Interbev – from France – highlighted the work that has been undertaken in driving a pan-European response to the Common Agricultural Policy’s (CAP0 new Green Deal.