Meat Industry Launches Environment Taskforce

UK - Leading meat industry representatives from farmers through to retailers have come together to form an environmental taskforce to develop an environmental 'roadmap' for the sector.
calendar icon 5 January 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

The British meat industry is determined to play its part in meeting the UK's carbon targets, as well as address the growing consumer awareness that activities commonly perceived as perfectly natural, such as grazing animals have environmental costs and benefits.

The Meat Roadmap will give the industry the tools it needs to address a broad range of environmental issues in addition to carbon across the product supply chain. It will do this by identifying practicable areas of improvement and challenging the industry through short, medium and longer term objectives.

"We need to commit ourselves to delivering practicable but challenging environmental achievements over the next 10-20 years."
Stuart Roberts of the British Meat Processors Association

One of the roles of the taskforce will be to identify common areas of improvement within the sectors and develop strategies that can be applied through existing programmes such as the beef and lamb Better Returns programmes. A good deal of work has already been done, or is already in progress on environmental improvements in all sectors. One of the objectives of the task force is to ensure this work is accessible to businesses and consumers, while establishing and monitoring industry performance in relation to future environmental improvements.

Stuart Roberts of the British Meat Processors Association said

"The meat industry, like any other responsible sector of the economy, takes its environmental responsibilities seriously. We must, as a whole supply chain, work together to ensure our production is sustainable."

"A lot of work has been carried out on measuring and mitigating the environmental impacts of meat production, and many of the quick but high-impact environmental wins are directly compatible with delivering more efficient production and saving costs."

"However, we need to build on what we've done and we would like to emulate some of the excellent work undertaken to produce the Milk Roadmap, albeit on a bigger scale across a number of species.

"In part, this work will help us underline our environmental credentials but we can't rest on our laurels. We need to commit ourselves to delivering practicable but challenging environmental achievements over the next 10-20 years."

Jane Kennedy, Minister of State for Farming and the Environment said

"I welcome this initiative and am delighted that the meat and livestock industry has decided to follow in the dairy industry's footsteps and use the roadmap concept. This will improve understanding of the environmental impacts of meat across the sector and how these might be reduced.

I congratulate the BMPA on co-ordinating this project and wish the new Environmental Taskforce well. I look forward to publication in due course of the Meat Roadmap"

The development of a meat roadmap will help the industry identify measures to reduce the environmental impact of production, processing, transporting and consumption of meat products. Carbon emissions will be a key focus but a wider view of impacts as well as the potential impacts of mitigating actions will also be included.

The taskforce currently includes the National Farmers Union, the British Meat Processors Association, British Retail Consortium, English Beef and Lamb Executive, National Pig Association and the British Pig Executive.

A key stakeholder event will be held in the New Year to set out in more detail how the programme of work will be delivered and implemented. The first draft meat roadmap is expected to be produced by the autumn of next year.

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