EU - Farming organisation Copa & Cogeca launched a major campaign in Brussels today to underline the multiple benefits of the EU livestock and meat sector for growth, jobs, vibrant rural areas, a balanced diet and to show the high production standards EU farmers meet.
Speaking at the event, Copa President Martin Merrild said: “The nutritious benefits of eating beef, veal, pork, lamb, poultry & eggs, goatmeat and rabbit are all too clear, providing consumers with a good source of protein in their diet.
"Livestock farming is also crucial for the economies of rural areas where often no other source of employment exists. But we are up against increasing challenges, with commodity prices at an all time low and input costs on the rise.
"The EU is also accelerating free trade talks with the Latin American Trade bloc Mercosur, which is expected to hit the EU agriculture sector, especially beef, hard. Yet imports from these countries do not meet the EU’s high environmental, safety and welfare standards.
"This two-year campaign therefore aims to increase awareness of our high EU production standards, and underline the many benefits of the EU livestock sector for growth, jobs and the environment, as well as the nutritious benefits of eating European meat with new easy to cook recipes, distinguishing fact from fiction.”
Cogeca Vice-President Thomas Memmert went on to underline the benefits of agri-cooperatives in helping farmers to pool their resources and to get a better price for their produce and develop a better use of nutrients from manure.
The meat sector is part of the EU strategy on the bioeconomy. Agri-cooperatives also give their farmer members advice on how to improve their economic, environmental and social performance, defining action plans to optimise production standards.
Squeezed by a handful of retailers, he underlined the need to combat unfair practices in the food chain to enable farmers to getter return for their produce.
New documents were presented at the launch event shedding light on the benefits of the EU beef & veal and pork sectors and showing new initiatives being developed by European farmers and agri-cooperatives to ensure an even greener economy and more viable sector.
For instance, the beef sector maintains permanent grassland which makes to possible to maintain a high level of biodiversity.
Meanwhile in the pork sector, Copa & Cogeca, together with leading EU agri-food, veterinary, road transport and animal welfare groups, are putting together voluntary initiatives to ensure even higher animal welfare standards.
New easy to cook recipes were also presented at the event with live cooking and tasty products from top chefs showcased.
Amazing iberico ham from Spain was offered by Interporc from pigs that are bought up in extensive conditions and fed on a special diet.
AHDB, together with the NFU and IFA, presented the Tasty Easy Fun Lamb campaign to uncover new easy to cook lamb recipes.
Steaks were provided by the French national beef association and interbev, coming from specialist beef herds which form the backbone of rural areas.ThePoultrySite News Desk