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Greener Livestock Supply Chains Offer Quick Wins in Climate Battle
EIN News Desk | November 14, 2017
The agricultural sectors are where efforts to end hunger and prevent planetary overheating can come together, and improving livestock supply chains is a fast way to start, FAO Director–General José Graziano da Silva said today.
"Low carbon livestock is possible," he said on the margins of the Conference of the Parties (COP23) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Agriculture accounts for a large share of greenhouse gas emissions but is also the "most exposed of all economic sectors to the effect of climate change," Graziano da Silva said. He noted that adverse effects disproportionately burdened the world's poorest and most vulnerable people, most of whom live in rural areas relying on farming, forestry and fisheries for their livelihoods.
Almost two–thirds of the poorest rural households raise and rely on livestock. "With improved and climate–smart practices, we can quickly achieve more sustainable, 'greener' livestock supply chains," Graziano da Silva said.v
Louise Fresco, The Borlaug Blog | October 23, 2017
The short answer is yes. Livestock production cannot only meet the growing demand for animal proteins, but we absolutely need livestock to use the planet in a sustainable and healthy way.
Here is why: food production in the 21st century needs to be better matched to food consumption so as to avoid wasting produced biomass.
Yet many people feel that animal based food consumption should be reduced because of the larger ecological footprint compared to plant based food products. But is that really true? Alas, this is more complex than black versus white.
Be Bold and Brand …Or Be a Price Taker
Shan Goodwin, Stock & Land | November 3, 2017
Most of Australian beef's competitors can not deliver what discerning customers of the future want.
When you can do things that others can't, therein lies incredible opportunity. Be bold and grasp that.
This was the message delivered by Red Meat Advisory Council chairman Don Mackay at the Australian Lot Feeders Association annual conference, SmartBeef 2017, in Armidale this week.
Mr Mackay believes brands are the future for Australian beef.
China's Sustainability Declaration an Opportunity for Farmers, Says WWF
Beef Central | November 09, 2017
World Wildlife Fund Australia CEO Dermot O'Gorman provides an opinion about the recent Chinese Sustainable Meat Declaration, and its significance for the Australian beef industry.
This is a significant achievement by Bord Bia, showing a possible way ahead for other countries and sectors. As the dairy industry in Ireland expands, more and more beef comes from the dairy industry there. No doubt we will hear a lot more about the Sustainable Beef and Lamb Assurance Scheme at our Global Conference in Kilkenny next year.
100% of Dairy Farmers to Receive Sustainability Certification by Early 2018
Conor Finnerty, Agriland | November 09, 2017
Meanwhile, Bord Bia's CEO outlined that the feedback to its new Sustainable Beef and Lamb Assurance Scheme (SBLAS) – which it launched earlier this year – has been very positive.
"There has been a clear movement by us to address the close–out issues that had been a huge area of concern for farmers. That's been hugely welcomed.
"We have also now introduced a helpline for farmers as part of that, which there is a very strong uptake to. The feedback to date has been very positive for all involved," she said.
The SBLAS sets out the agreed standards for the production and certification of Irish beef and lamb.
Ontario Beef Farmers Share Production Techniques in Beef Research Council Video
Diego Flammini, Farms.com | November 13, 2017
Members of Ontario's beef community shared some of their production practices and their environmental impacts in a recent Beef Research Council video.
From manure and nutrition management to rotational grazing, beef producers are at the forefront of creating a more sustainable industry.
"We want producers to understand that environmental footprints are important," Dr. Katie Wood, an assistant professor in the University of Guelph's animal biosciences department, told Farms.com today. "Some of the research we're doing, paired with some of the things producers already do, can help to minimize the environmental footprint of beef production."
Watch 7:24 video HERE.
I include the article below here, because it is a message that is undoubtedly spread at meetings such as COP23 in Bonn, and in many other fora. Note Don Mackay's advice in the article above – be bold; yes, enteric methane emissions exist, and the beef industry needs to accept that while they might not be as significant as often portrayed, denial is not going to help us.
So, we need to highlight the considerable successes that we have had in developed countries in reducing overall emissions, we need to show that there are significant gains to be made in the future with feed additives that not only reduce enteric emissions, but which improve feed efficiency at the same time.
If we embrace the financial advantages of efficient and sustainable production, we will benefit whilst addressing some of the main issues used by detractors to criticise the beef industry. See this article about branding beef with lowered emissions.
'Cows and Cars Must Be on Same Agenda,' Says Food Awareness Organization
Jennifer Hermes, Environmental Leader | November 3, 2017
The livestock sector is one of the leading causes of climate change, responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than global transport, and ProVeg International plans to meet with policy makers and delegates at COP23 to highlight the issue. To date, agriculture has not been on the agenda at any previous UN Climate Change conference and has so far remained free from climate protection measures, according to ProVeg.
"By focusing so narrowly on energy and transport, policymakers have been excluding the key missing piece of the puzzle. Now is the time to have cars and cows on the same climate agenda, otherwise the industrial juggernaut that is animal agriculture will destroy our planet," says Jimmy Pierson, director of ProVeg UK.
Next week's UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, is designed to increase climate action and more sustainable development at all levels of society, the event's website explains. Alongside COP23 is the Sustainable Innovation Forum, which brings together more than 600 hand picked delegates including Ministers of Energy and Climate Change, CEOs, mayors, investors, development banks, entrepreneurs and media for keynotes, panel discussions, and networking.