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Environment

The meat industry has come under fire from environmental campaigners in recent years and is having to run hard to catch up on the green debate. Catch up with the latest news and developments on this important subject.

Harmful levels of arsenic found in chicken

Studies have shown that several samples of chicken from Pakistan contain concerning levels of arsenic. 

Smithfield makes greenhouse gas emissions pledge

US pork processor Smithfield Foods has announced plans to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25% by 2025. 

Japan scrambles to limit impact of bird flu outbreak

Japan has confirmed a third outbreak of avian flu in as many days, prompting the cull of thousands of farmed birds in the north of the country.

Perdue Farms responds to water pollution call

Poultry giant Perdue Farms has responded to pressure on several leading US meat firms to tighten focus on water use, highlighting the actions it has already taken on the issue.

Smithfield meat plants roar to life after ‘severe’ Hurricane Matthew

Smithfield Foods’ meat processing factories and farms in North Carolina, US, have returned to full operation following widespread flooding and damage caused by Hurricane Matthew. 

French poultry player Duc slashes energy consumption

Meat processor Duc has hailed the financial impact of slashing energy consumption at its primary production plant in Chailley, France, claiming the “ambitious project” exceeded expectations.

Bangladesh poultry sector hit by climate change

Bangladesh’s poultry executives claim climate change poses a major management and operational problem as blazing temperatures cause heat stress and incite livestock disease, increasing mortality rates.

Marfrig: halting deforestation ‘critical’

Meatpacker Marfrig said halting deforestation and fighting slave-like labour conditions was “critical” to its strategy in Brazil as an independent audit praised the company.

Lobby group calls for switch from meat to plant-based protein

Investors managing $1.25trn in assets have called on 16 food companies to shake up the global meat supply chain, citing environmental and health concerns over factory farming.

Lab-made meat rebranded ‘clean meat’ to address ‘yuck’ factor

Bosses at high-tech food companies producing meat in laboratories have stopped using terms ‘lab-grown’ or ‘cultured meat’ over concerns this puts people off the revolutionary protein.

Somalian meat traders seek rehab for conflict-hit port

Livestock exporters using the key southern port of Kismayo have called for facility improvements to spur meat trade, of critical importance to the economic health of war-wracked Somalia.

Marfrig wants to be ‘global leader’ in environmental sustainability

Marfrig is one of the largest meat companies in Brazil and has radically changed how it produces beef to halt the deforestation of South America and protect the environment.

Flooding devastates China’s rural pork industry

Chinese pork producers are struggling after the city of Wuhan was left paralysed by the worst flooding since the 1998 weather crisis that resulted in more than 3,000 dead. 

China's pork industry grapples with pollution crisis

Genetics and nutrition companies look set to benefit from a Chinese crackdown on pollution from the livestock sector, after critics claim slurry is contaminating water supplies.

Australian pork study finds eco-shelters slash emissions

Australian researchers have found that greenhouse gas emissions from pork farming are more than a third lower if eco-shelters are used. 

Pollution scandal engulfs China’s meat industry

A pig farm has sparked anger in China because it was built on a giant toxic dump in Jiangsu province on the country’s affluent east coast.

Hollywood stars call for meat consumption drop

China has enlisted Arnold Schwarzenegger and film-maker James Cameron to call for lower meat consumption, with the government poised to tackle its environmental crisis. 

Cool Chain Association to cut food waste

The Cool Chain Association (CCA) – a not-for-profit organisation aiming to improve standards in the chilled food transportation chain – has pledged to slash food wastage by 10% within the next nine years.

McDonald’s advances Canadian beef sustainability

Fast food giant McDonald’s has celebrated the successful completion of a two-year pilot project to gauge the effectiveness and possibility of only using local beef in its restaurants. 

Meat companies fail to report soy use

A string of European meat processors, including Danish Crown and Moy Park, failed to disclose the source of soybeans this year, raising questions about their commitment to environmental sustainability.

HKScan to use ethical soy

HKScan is committed to using responsibly sourced soybeans, a key ingredient used in animal feed, to halt the deforestation of South America.

IFFA 2016

GEA and Red Arrow scoop innovation award

Machinery manufactures GEA and Red Arrow have jointly won a Fleischerei Technik (Meat Technology) award for their smokeless meat smoking machin

EU-Chile deal signals new style of organic food trade

The EU has chiselled a template for international organic food trade with its agreement with Chile - a deal that could boost bilateral meat sales. 

Environmental concern behind materials shift in poultry packaging

Limitations in the environmental sustainability of polypropylene – a plastic commonly used for meat packaging – has caused manufacturers across Europe to switch to PET packaging.

US pumps cash into sustainable livestock research

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has made $16m (£11m) available through a series of grants to fund research into advancing methods of sustainable livestock production.