La revue Viandes et produits carnés

La revue française de la recherche en viandes et produits carnés  ISSN  2555-8560

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Which method for environmental assessment and labeling for the ruminant red meat sector?

Interbev, the National Interprofessional Association of Cattle and Meat, took part in the experimentation of environmental labelling of food, promulgated by the AGEC law (anti-waste law for a circular economy) and the “Climate and resilience” law. The main objective for INTERBEV was to contribute to the evolution of LCA-based (Life Cycle Analysis) environmental methodologies and Agribalyse data base for LCI (Life Cycle Inventory). Currently these have shortcomings and methodological biases very unfavorable to ruminant meat production, which has a long-life cycle. Conversely, the environmental benefits recognized by society and public policies, linked in particular to the enhancement of grasslands and the associated ecosystem services (biodiversity, carbone sequestration) are not included. This project made it possible to rebalance the existing indicators - in LCA or non-LCA - making it possible to fill these gaps and to question certain aspects of the methodology used in Agribalyse (allocation, climate change, soil occupation). Different aggregation and weighting methods were evaluated, considering consumer expectations and priority issues identified by both stakeholders (including NGO in particular) and industry players. The results show that an assessment and labelling alternative to those based on LCA alone is not only possible but essential for a complete vision of agricultural systems and an informed choice of consumers.

Livestock and sustainability: challenges and opportunities

This article provides a summary of the contribution of the global livestock sector to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It is organized around four priorities: 1/ food security and nutrition, 2/ livelihoods and economic growth, 3/ public health and animal health including animal welfare and finally, 4/ natural resources management and climate. This article presents quantified examples of the impacts of the sector, both negative and positive, and suggests areas for improvement so that the livestock sector contributes to the transition towards more sustainable food systems.

Towards the environmental labelling of animal products

The French association of animal production (AFZ) organized three webinars in order to take stock of knowledge about the environmental assessment of animal products, in the perspective of the upcoming environmental labelling of food items. This article summarizes the nine presentations and the debates during these webinars. The first webinar considered the issue of the environmental assessment of livestock systems and their products, within the broader framework of sustainable human food as defined by the FAO, thus emphasizing that the solutions for improvement are diverse depending on the country, as well in terms of farming systems as in evolution of production and consumption. The second webinar was devoted to the methods and data available for the environmental assessment of livestock systems and animal products. The third webinar focused on the environmental labelling of food items with a first contribution on the approaches to identify more sustainable diets, followed by three presentations related to the labelling experiment conducted by the Ministry of Ecological Transition, in partnership with actors in the field. These different contributions underline the importance of the methodological achievements and the available data, even if some improvements still need to be made, in particular to better take into account the specificities of pasture-based and organic livestock farming systems. In addition, the labelling experiments confirmed consumers' interest in getting an explicit information about the environmental impact of their food.


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