Producing meat can have environmental benefits

Delegates at the 14th Langford Food Conference that met to discuss beef eating quality were told that the red meat industry needs to take a harder look at the environmental benefits of producing meat. Industry development manager of Eblex, Chris Lloyd, stated industry members and meat science academics regularly need to defend themselves against those who want to use climate issues to propel their belief that less meat should be consumed by the general public.

Lloyd expanded his thoughts on the matter to tell members that it is possible to reduce CO2 emissions when it comes to the production and manufacturing or red meat, but at the same time that the industry moves forward it is forced to stop and defend its action to the public despite the many assets and benefits that they offer society.

He explained that without livestock there are many areas of the UK where food would not be produced at all and if you start to head down line of thought you discover that the UK would simply be exporting the problem of CO2 emissions as lack of homegrown meat would result in higher imports of meat.

Therefore, Lloyd stated that sheep and meat production need to be kept within the country and the public has to understand that they are valuable products despite their GHC cost. He went on further to explain that measuring the worth of any industry solely by its CO2 production is a weak argument as there are many more factors to be considered that include landscape management, biodiversity, resource use, food supply, and environmental science.

In addition, Lloyd also referenced the work that Eblex has been doing in order to reduce their overall GHG emissions by the year 2020 which is when the UK’s Low Carbon Transition Plan goal is set for agricultural industries. The goal is to reduce all GHG by 11% before the year 2020 rolls around which GHG has addressed by improving their efficiency on the farm.