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IMS Symposium

Bodies work together on meat’s environmental impact

By Flemmich Webb , 30-Sep-2013

Meat industry is behind dairy industry in terms of life-cycle assessment
Meat industry is behind dairy industry in terms of life-cycle assessment

Patrick Moore, chair of the IMS Sustainable Meat Committee, has defended the organisation’s work with the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) on improving food production sustainability.

Speaking at the IMS Symposium on Future Industrial Meat Production in Copenhagen, Denmark, he said: “It is better to be inside rather than outside the tent,” adding that the FAO had “moved from criticism to finding solutions”.

He said the two organisations were working together to get agreement on an international standard for the measurement of environmental impacts, as it “is a live issue in the marketplace”.

While Moore acknowledged the positive contribution of global meat production to food security and the provision of high-quality protein, he said there was a lot of waste in the system that needed to be reduced. “The meat industry is behind the dairy industry in terms of life-cycle assessment,” Moore said. “But they have cleared the foundation – now they are getting ready to build the house.”

He said the sector needed to focus on three areas – closing the efficiency gap, restoring value to grasslands and “waste to worth” (manure management).

“We want to promote better systems around the world. We believe it’s the journey not the destination – it’s not about arguing over which production system is the best, as that will only give fuel to our critics.”