Husbandry has brought a colorful experience to our daily life and definately fostered the establishment of nourishing food cultures from country to family community. However, the prosperity is shadowed with the side effects of animal raising. That’s why the EU committed to improving environmental sustainability.
Firstly, the ‘Zero Pollution Action Plan’ that aims to be adopted by the European Commission in 2021 intends to achieve no pollution from “all sources”, cleaning the air, water and soil by 2050. PROVACUNO, the Interprofessional Organization of Beef in Spain, has launched the 2050 Carbon Neutral Beef Strategy in 2020, aiming to achieve climate neutrality in the sector in 2050. The latest inventory data from the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge published an account for just 3.6% of total greenhouse gas emissions of Spain beef cattle husbandry. In the last two decades Spain has managed to reduce emissions associated with manure by 18%. While in Italy, ASSORCARNI has made an achievement on another downsizing. On average, it takes 11,500 liters of water to produce 1kg of meat. Beef production in Italy has a water footprint that is around 25% below the international average. The usage of water is known as a water footprint – in much the same way carbon emissions have come to be known as a carbon footprint. These factors take into account things like the water needed to grow the crops and to feed cows, as well as water needed to purify waste and water to keep cattle hydrated. The use of advanced technology in water management and a correct use during agricultural production, contributes to creating a resource-efficient envirenment in the production of meat.
Secondly, the European Green Deal, approved 2020, is a set of policy initiatives by the European Commission who has set a target of at least 25% of the EU’s agricultural land under organic farming and a significant increase in organic aquaculture by 2030. Properly treated manure and animal waste could serve as a valuable source of organic matter and nutrients for fertilizing crops and for energy production, replacing current fossil-based products. Thirdly, zero waste to not only the beef sectors, but also animal by-products (ABPs), which is the material of animal origin that people do not consume. Except for the parts for human consumption, ABPs include the unedible or unplaced on the market as food for example the skin, bones, horn and hooves, blood, fat and offal. You will find out how ABPs frequently touch our daily life. From leather wallets, vitamin capsules, charcoal to even instrument strings. Some cattle tissue can be used in human heart valve surgeries.
The European Green Deal has played a vital part to unite several countries to reach one goal – to give more back to the planet than we take away. Nevertheless, it is the responsibility of every citizen living on earth to treasure the resources from Nature, co-creating the physical and mental wellbeing of future generations.
Photo credits: ©PROVACUNO/Organización Interprofesional Agroalimentaria de la Carne de Vacuno