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WWF and Beef Industry Leaders Advance Sustainable Beef Production Through Multi-Stakeholder Engagement

WASHINGTON, DC, November 4, 2010 – World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and global leaders from the beef industry today announced their commitment to improve the sustainability of the beef system through multi-stakeholder engagement at the national, regional, and local scale. More than 300 stakeholders gathered in Denver, Col., this week for a three-day conference that achieved increased clarity and deepened alignment around the key issues that influence the sustainability of the beef production system, both positive and negative.

“This was an unprecedented event and a great first step in our journey to achieve a more sustainable beef industry,” said Jason Clay, Senior Vice President of Markets at WWF. “On a planet with finite resources, global beef stakeholders understand the business, social and environmental value of doing more with less. Through this multi-stakeholder process, we will build on existing practices and drive continuous improvement throughout the global beef system.”

As an important source of protein for many of the world’s population, global demand for beef is growing. With global populations expected to peak at more than nine billion by 2050, industry and NGO partners have a shared interest to improve beef production in some of the most environmentally sensitive regions of the world.

Hosted by Cargill, Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, JBS, McDonald’s, Walmart and WWF, the Global Conference on Sustainable Beef convened all elements of the global beef supply chain and a diverse array of other key stakeholders, including academics, scientists and NGO thought leaders for a constructive dialogue about the current state of sustainability in the beef industry. Participants engaged in a series of panel discussions and breakout sessions around eight key issues related to the environment, economy and society – food and nutrition, community, water, labor and business, land management, energy, biodiversity and greenhouse gas emissions.

The conference produced robust feedback centered on the “triple bottom line” – to be environmentally, socially and economically sustainable. At the conclusion, the conference hosts challenged the participants to incorporate this feedback to develop on-the-ground programs that enhance sustainable beef, driven by new relationships developed in Denver.

“This is a powerful first step in bringing all the key stakeholders of the beef sector together for a transparent dialogue and to identify the real potential of the beef industry to be more sustainable,” said Gary Johnson, Senior Director, McDonald’s Worldwide Supply Chain.

"By incorporating sustainability into Walmart’s own operations, we have seen firsthand the opportunities it creates to increase efficiency and reduce costs," said Pete Eckes, Walmart's senior director of business development for meat. "By making the sustainability practices of producers and suppliers a factor in deciding which beef we buy for our 8500 global locations, Walmart and Sam's Club can provide the access to customers that is needed to make this effort a success."

Conference leadership agreed to a series of next steps in the multi-stakeholder process on sustainable beef. They will ensure continued and frequent engagement at a regional and global scale, document and communicate collective experiences through science-based networks, and serve as conveners to expand partnerships that drive toward increased industry sustainability. 

News and updates about the multi-stakeholder process can be found at www.SustainableLivestock.com.

PRESS CONTACTS

Mike Martin, Cargill
(316) 291-2126 – office
(316) 258-4627 – mobile
Michael_martin@cargill.com

Sharon Dilling, Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health
(908) 473-3390 – office
(908) 723-5278 – mobile
Sharon.dilling@merck.com

Chandler Keys, JBS USA
(202) 907-4253
Chandler.Keys@jbssa.com

Lisa McComb, McDonald’s
(630) 623-3707 – office
(630) 484-1158 – mobile
Lisa.McComb@us.mcd.com

Kory Lundberg, Walmart
1-800-331-0085
kory.lundberg@wal-mart.com

Nick Conger, WWF
(202) 495-4668 – office
(202) 290-5454 – mobile
nick.conger@wwfus.org

ABOUT CARGILL
Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services.  Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 131,000 people in 66 countries.  Cargill helps customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is committed to applying its global knowledge and experience to help meet economic, environmental and social challenges wherever it does business.  For more information, visit www.cargill.com.

ABOUT INTERVET/SCHERING-PLOUGH ANIMAL HEALTH
Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, based in Boxmeer, the Netherlands, is focused on the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of animal health products. The company offers customers one of the broadest, most innovative animal health portfolios, spanning products to support performance and to prevent, treat and control disease in all major farm and companion animal species. Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health; subsidiaries of Merck & Co. Inc., Whitehouse Station NJ, USA. For more information, visit www.intervet.com.

ABOUT JBS
JBS is currently the world's largest beef producer and exporter with a daily harvesting capacity of 90,390 head of cattle and the largest global exporter of processed beef. The company's operations include 58 production units in Brazil and 6 plants located in 4 Argentine provinces, in addition to 50 plants in the US, 3 in Mexico, 10 in Australia, 8 in Italy, 1 in China and 1 in Russia. More information about JBS S.A. is available at www.jbs.com.br/ir/.

ABOUT McDONALD’S
McDonald's is the world's leading global foodservice retailer with more than 32,000 locations serving 60 million customers in more than 100 countries each day. More than 80% of McDonald’s restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local men and women. To learn more about the company, please visit www.aboutmcdonalds.com and follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/aboutmcdonalds) and Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/mcdonaldscorp).

ABOUT WALMART
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT), or “Walmart,” serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at more than 8,400 retail units under 55 different banners in 15 countries.  With fiscal year 2010 sales of $405 billion, Walmart employs more than 2 million associates worldwide.  A leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity, Walmart ranked first among retailers in Fortune Magazine’s 2010 Most Admired Companies survey.  Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting www.walmartstores.com and on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/Walmartnews.  Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com and www.samsclub.com.