The pilot project was launched to test and validate the audit and traceability systems necessary to meet the requirements of the Certified Sustainable Beef Framework established by the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB). According to Cargill, the results prove the model works and demonstrate significant potential to scale the programme to deliver a greater volume of certified sustainable beef to Canadian consumers.

During the first three months, the pilot tested and developed methodology for tracking eligible cattle through audited live animal supply chains. It also tested the methodology for tracking supply chain sustainability certifications from the beef carcass to finished products. “By coupling live cattle and beef product traceability, Cargill’s Canadian customers can demonstrate the sustainability of their entire supply chain.”, says Cargill. Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+), overseen by the Beef Cattle Research Council and operated with the assistance of provincial cattle organisations, is said to be auditing cattle producers for sustainability during this pilot. Cattle are tracked as they move through audited operations by the Beef Info-Exchange System’s (BIXS) RFID tagging system, from the time producers tagged them through processing at Cargill’s High River beef plant. 

The pilot is currently encouraging additional ranchers to participate in the pilot for the remainder of 2018. For contributions made during the first quarter of the pilot, participating cattle ranchers were rewarded US$10 per-head for qualifying cattle that could be tracked through audited sustainable operations from farm to fork.