Beef is raised in many of the most sensitive and important ecosystems around the world, including the North America’s great plains, the Brazilian Amazon, the savannahs of Southern Africa and the Great Barrier Reef watershed of Australia.
With the global population expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050 and income levels rising, demand for beef is increasing and will only grow. Yet beef production requires a lot of land, water and energy, and generates considerable waste. It is thus essential to improve its sustainability globally.
There are many ways beef production—when sustainably managed—can benefit our environment. Grazing maintains the health of grasslands, improves soil quality with manure, and preserves open space and wildlife habitat. Additionally, healthy grasslands are better able to store water and carbon, which limits runoff, reduces soil erosion and blunts the impact of climate change. Beef is also important for health and economic development. As a nutrient-rich protein source, beef increases food security and nutrition, especially in developing countries. Beef production also provides social benefits, such as poverty alleviation and the promotion of community vibrancy.
WWF envisions a global marketplace in which all beef is sustainable. By working with producers as well as companies and their supply chains to improve the sustainability of beef production, WWF is helping ensure that consumers have choices for a safe, affordable and sustainable diet.