Anne Wasko reflects on four years as chair of Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef

The Canadian Beef Industry Conference was held at Penticton, B.C., this week, reconnecting the beef industry in-person after several years.

One of the key members in attendance was Anne Wasko, who is wrapping up her four-year tenure as chair of the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB). RealAgriculture’s Kara Oosterhuis was at the conference and caught up with Wasko to talk about her time as chair, and what’s next for the industry. (Story continues below)

“I think back to when I first started four years ago, and not knowing a whole bunch about this space and having trouble finding words… I’ve also learned it’s a quickly moving space. And, and so we are constantly having to kind of keep up with the movement, whether it’s here in Canada or globally,” Wasko says.

Wasko sees more work needing to be done on the awareness side of what the CRSB is and the progress made each year.

“Some of the proud moments for me, certainly, is the progress we continue to see in terms of the certified sustainable beef program, more beef being marketed with a source sourcing claim to it. Each year, this past year, the data was just released yesterday, this past year of recording, the data was a 10 million pounds, and that’s a 36% increase from the previous year.”

She adds that there is incredible demand for sustainable-certified beef, and the work continues to get more members of the value chain on board.

Looking ahead, Wasko says that the focus on continuous improvement will continue. With so many companies focussing on carbon footprints and going net-zero, every link in the beef value chain will play a key role in moving these targets forward.

“There’s going to be piles of data coming out in the next little while (on greenhouse gas emisssion). So when I look forward with that, that crystal ball, as you say, there’s there’s going to be lots of data, but we’ve got lots of work to do. There’s gaps still to fill. We need research in certain areas we need to regulate. One of the things we heard yesterday was regulatory approval for some of these products that would really make a difference, for example, in in feedlots, in terms of animal feed, so it’s endless.”