Chain of Custody

The tracking of beef from Certified Sustainable farms and ranches through the supply chain

Sustainability is increasingly becoming a core principle for many businesses in the agriculture and agri-food sectors. The focus of the Certified Sustainable Beef Framework is to help advance sustainability and recognize leaders in sustainable beef production and beef processing. To build consumer confidence for Canadian beef, it is critical to show that beef has been raised sustainably at all points in the supply chain.  

Recognizing that there are a variety of supply chains and types of food businesses, three different internationally-recognized Chain of Custody models are approved for sourcing of beef from CRSB Certified Operations. The Chain of Custody Requirements outline the administrative and technical requirements for sourcing beef from CRSB Certified Operations at every step of the supply chain, and making claims according to CRSB Communications, Claims and Labelling Guidelines.

As a beef processor, think about how your sourcing works, and how the programs for your customers fit into the following traceability models.


Chain of Custody Options

Identity Preservation

Where the source of beef is segregated and can be linked to original CRSB certified farm / ranch where cattle was raised. To use the Certification Mark and make this type of product-related claim, 100% of the beef must meet this requirement.

 Identity Preservation FINAL


Where beef from CRSB-Certified Operations is kept separate from beef NOT from CRSB-certified operations. To use the Certification Mark and make this type of product-related claim, 100% of the beef must meet this requirement.

Segregation FINAL q

Mass Balance

Where physical mixing or blending of beef from CRSB-Certified farms and ranches and from non-certified operations is allowed during processing; volumes of beef are documented and controlled. Claims are allowable where a portion of the company or brand’s beef volume is CRSB certified, provided that a minimum of 30% of the beef volume meeting the CRSB Certified criteria. Beef marketing with this system must use the MASS BALANCE Certification Mark.

Mass Balance FINAL

As a beef processor, you may need to identify whether you require certification to the processing standard or Chain of Custody, or both. In some cases, both a processing audit and Chain of Custody audit can be conducted at the same time, if necessary.

Review the full Chain of Custody Requirements here.

processors2Certified Sustainable Beef Processors

As a Certified Operation for beef processing, you can promote your certification status, and are eligible to use the CRSB Certified logo. Request the logo from your Certification Body. 

*To promote your processing facility as a Certified Operation, you DO NOT need a Chain of Custody Audit 

consumerCertified Sustainable Beef Processors marketing beef

If you are part of a supply chain that is marketing beef directly to consumers, such as through a branded beef program that wishes to make sustainability related claims on their beef sourcing, you will need to have your tracking processes audited to the CRSB's Chain of Custody Requirements.

Similarly, to sell packaged beef directly to retail or foodservice customers, or direct to consumers, you must demonstrate the traceability of the beef sourcing through a Chain of Custody audit.

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