Beef and Sheep Conferences

The annual Beef and Sheep Conferences are the main event of the agri benchmark Beef and Sheep activities.

Here you find information about the Beef (and Sheep) Conferences starting with 2006. The Beef and Sheep Conference 2023 took place in Asunción / Paraguay.

In the Beef and Sheep Conferences, results of our benchmark activities are presented, specific topics are addressed in plenary sessions or workshops, and the next steps in the Network are discussed and decided commonly by the partners.

Since 2009, a one-day public Global Forum is added addressing decision makers of the beef and sheep sectors in the host country. The motto of the Global Forum is 'Bring the world to the hosts and show the host country to the network'.

The programme is complemented by pre-conference trainings, field trips to farms and agribusiness companies, invited speaker presentations as well as pre- or post-conference tours providing a good mixture of agribusiness and networking.

Other Conferences

Apart from running our own annual conferences and trainings, agri benchmark staff and cooperation partners regularly participate in international conferences to exchange ideas, to find new partners and to intensify long-standing partnerships and last, but not least, to present agri benchmark results to a broader public.

Data collection and field visits in Brazil, 2018

A team of agri benchmark researchers (Katrin Agethen, Ernesto Reyes, Claus Deblitz) and colleagues from partner institutions (Julián Chará from CIPAV in Colombia, Martín Mongelós from WWF Paraguay) visited two areas in Brazil to learn more about sustainable beef production, mainly in the context of silvopastoral systems.

  • In the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, we visited EMBRAPA Gado de Corte (Cattle) in Campo Grande and learned from their long-year field trials on SPS. We agreed on a cooperation and started to collect data on SPS from a commercial farm near the city of Bandeirantes, close to Campo Grande.

group discussion in the field
Discussion of the team and EMBRAPA researchers Davi Bungenstab (left), Mariana Pereira (second from right) and Fabiana Alves (right) in front of the field trials with Bracciaria and eucalyptus trees
nelore cattle
Nelore cattle – a lively breed within the commercial SPS
  • In the state of Maranhão in the North of Brazil, around Imperatriz, we met with the SPS-expert Rogério Mauricio from the University de São João del Rei in Minas Gerais. On a commercial farm, we saw two types of SPS system: one using the natural regrowth and selection of native trees (mainly for cow-calf) and another one using eucalpytus trees (and some legume bushes) in a rotation of backgrounding cattle.

A summary of the visit and the farm can be found in the movie here: 

Opens external link in new windowMissão internacional começa experiências sustentáveis no interior maranhense
(broadcast globoplay, 16. Dec. 2018)

Data from both farms and regions will be used to create two more SPS case studies and to include Brazil in the Global Silvo-Pastoral network. Our Ph.D. student Katrin Agethen will also use this data for the analysis of mitigation strategies in beef production.


Global Conference on Sustainable Beef, Kilkenny, Ireland, 10.-12.10., 2018

logo grsb

This conference was organised by the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and saw 250 participants from more than 25 countries globally and from industry, retail, science, international organisations, producer organisations and NGOs. Claus Deblitz was a member of the expert panel session on "Cow Burps, Gas & Grass: A Look at Innovations Impacting Reductions in Emissions, Cultivation of Carbon and Improved Natural Resource Management Around the Globe". Together with the other panellists and the audience, he discussed the various options of reducing GHG emissions in beef production.

Click below to watch a video of that session. Claus’ initial 5 minute statement start at minute 36:14.

International Conference on Agricultural GHG Emissions and Food Security – Connecting research to policy and practice, Berlin, 10 – 13 September, 2018

agrighg conference berlin 2018

This was a big international conference hosted by the German Ministry of Food and Agriculture and mainly organised by the Thünen Institute. In a session on mitigation potentials of livestock and grassland management, Claus Deblitz presented the results from work on silvopastoral systems in Colombia from the angle of greenhouse gas emissions. Co-authors were Ernesto Reyes and Julián Chará. The presentation can be downloaded here.

Silvopastoral systems can reduce emissions and create multiple wins in beef production
(Claus Deblitz, Ernesto Reyes, Julián Chará, pdf, 2,5 MB)

More information on the conference you find on the conference website: Opens external link in new window#AgriGHG

Competitividad de los sectores ganaderos ante el reto de la internacionalización, Madrid, 20 March, 2018

Claus Deblitz presented findings of the situation and the prospects of the Spanish beef, sheep and pig sector in the context of the international competitiveness. The event was organized by the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fish, Nutrition and Environment (MAPAMA) and hosted about 100 decision makers of the Spanish livestock supply chain.

(pdf, 706 KB)

Data collection and field visits in Paraguay, 2018

Within the WWF project of “Opens external link in new windowBest practice land use options in flooded savannahs in Colombia and Paraguay” a field trip for data collection was undertaken with WWF-staff, local experts and producers from 12 to 16 March, 2018. Participants from agri benchmark were Elizabeth Lunik (cash crops), Katrin Agethen (beef), Ernesto Reyes (project manager agri benchmark) and Claus Deblitz (project leader from Thünen).


Heifers grazing in Chaco North

In the field trips and workshops, the following activities were performed:

  1. The reference situation (baseline) located close to the Pantanal region for the cow-calf in the so-called Palmar – palm tree situation – and the cow-calf plus beef finishing – in the Palmar and the Bosque (former savannah forest) – situation was presented and discussed. In another step, the land use options to improve productivity and sustainability in these systems were discussed and specified.
  2. The scenario for the North Chaco with integration of livestock (cow-calf plus finishing) and cash crops was established and validated through a farm visit. This will be confronted by a baseline with extensive grazing to compare productivity, economics and sustainability. 
workshop participants
Workshop participants

6th IMS Economics Workshop in Paris

G.Roué, C. Deblitz
Claus Deblitz talking with Guillaume Roué, President of IMS and INAPORC

Every two years the members of the International Meat Secretariat with affiliation towards economics meet for an Economics Workshop which took place in Paris in the IMS headquarters this year. The hosts for the Workshop were the French pork inter-profession (INAPORC) and the French Beef inter-profession (INTERBEV). Support was also provided by technical institutes IFIP (pork) and IDELE (beef).

Claus Deblitz represented agri benchmark and the Thünen Institute as the only German out of 60 participants. He gave three presentations on the international competitiveness of beef production, international competitiveness of pig production and the situation of the German pig farming. 


World Meat Congress in Uruguay 2016

Claus Deblitz, coordinator of the agri benchmark Beef and Sheep Network, took part in the 21st World Meat Congress in Uruguay. The congress was supposed to discuss a new global agenda of the sector.

As an invited speaker Claus Deblitz presented agri benchmark results stressing the importance of production system analyses. 

Global beef production – Why production systems are relevant for perspective analysis
(pdf, 3 MB, English Version)

Producción mundial de carne vacuna - Por qué los sistemas de producción son pertinentes para el análisis de las perspectivas
(pdf, 3,1 MB, Spanish Version)

During the World Meat Congress in Uruguay Claus Deblitz talks about latest developments in world meat production and trade.

Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock - Meeting 2016


The 6th multi-stakeholder partnership meeting of the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock took part in Panama, 20-23 June, 2016.

The Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock is a partnership of livestock sector stakeholders committed to the sustainable development of the sector. agri benchmark has been an active member since 2013 and participates directly and indirectly in this activity, providing its core competence of measuring production systems, their economics and practice change.

agri benchmark’s manager international institutions, Ernesto Reyes, presented in his role as chairman of the Focus Area 1 ‘Closing the efficiency gap’ the progress made in the action plans and pilot projects, in some of which agri benchmark plays a role.

Closing The Efficiency Gap
(Ernesto Reyes, pdf, 9,8 MB)

Lesley Mitchell, International Head of Policy from World Animal Protection, presented her organisation’s view on animal welfare and common actions and mentioned the cooperation with agri benchmark in the analysis of silvo-pastoral systems in Colombia.

Integrating Animal Welfare In Sustainable Livestock To Deliver The SDGS
(Lesly Mitchell, pdf, 711 KB)

Julián Chará, our Colombian partner from CIPAV presented the Global Network on Silvo-Pastoral Systems (see also the World Congress Silvo-Pastoral Systems).

Global Network on Silvo-Pastoral Systems
(Julian Chará, pdf, 3,9 MB)

World Congress Silvo-Pastoral Systems in Evora


The Global Network on Silvo-Pastoral Systems (GNSPS) emerged as a proposal during the 5th meeting of the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock held in 2014, in Cali, Colombia. The GNSPS is intended to serve as the platform to exchange that information and to promote silvo-pastoral systems in different regions and scales of production.

As a result of the first activities, the network has 62 stakeholders from 16 countries mainly from Latin America representing research centers, universities, farmer associations, governmental agencies, NGOs and the private sector.

agri benchmark were represented by Claus Deblitz and Ernesto Reyes. Julian Chará provided a presentation on the Global Network of Silvo-pastoral Systems (see below at the Global Agenda Meeting).
Pablo Peri from INTA Patagonia (Argentina) talked about the status quo and advances of SPS in Latin America.

agri benchmark – a global approach to measure silvo-pastoral systems
(Claus Deblitz, pdf, 1,4 MB)

Advances in Silvo-Pastoral Systems in Latin America
(Pablo Peri, pdf, 3,2 MB)

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