The Carne y Salud platform has hosted a virtual meeting with the media and representatives of the food chain where the effort made by the livestock-meat sector to supply the Spanish population and foreign markets and to lead the whole of the sector has been recognized. agri-food chain.
The meeting was attended by the Minister of Agriculture, Water and Rural Development of Castilla-La Mancha, Francisco Martínez Arroyo; the president of the Official College of Veterinarians of Madrid, Felipe Vilas; and the president of the State Confederation of Consumers and Users (CECU), Fernando Móner, who highlighted the great capacity shown by the food system as a whole and the meat sector in particular.
For the CECU representative, “consumers know little about the sector and that is why their initial reaction to supply during this pandemic may have been scary. Those of us who know the food chain already knew that the sector was going to respond by guaranteeing supply and was not going to fail, least of all in a crisis like this. ” And he added that “we must take advantage of the moment in which we are to reach consumers and who know the sector perfectly. Surveys during this pandemic show a very positive change in perception by citizens. ”
“We must take advantage of the moment in which we are to reach consumers and who know the sector perfectly. Surveys during this pandemic show a very positive change in perception by citizens “
It has also been revealed that meat production in Spain is based on the European Production Model, the most demanding in the world, which is based on pillars such as food safety and extends to the fields of animal health and welfare, sustainability and social aspects, therefore guaranteeing the supply of healthy, safe and low environmental impact products to the population.
The products produced in Spain pass the most demanding and exhaustive controls in the world to offer consumers food with the maximum guarantees ”
The sector is an essential source for the socioeconomic development of the country, with a special relevance in rural areas, where its activity contributes to avoiding depopulation and generating wealth, territorial cohesion and employment. In fact, livestock farming directly employs more than half a million people in Spain, meat industries 97,000 workers and retail trade another 75,000, with an estimated two million people living on the livestock-meat chain in Spain.
Livestock directly employs more than half a million people in Spain, meat industries 97,000 workers and retail trade another 75,000, estimating that about two million people live in the livestock-meat chain in Spain.
7,000 million euros in meat and meat product exports
The sector also makes an important positive contribution to Spain’s trade balance, thanks to more than 7,000 million euros in meat and meat product exports. The Minister of Agriculture of Castilla-La Mancha noted that “the agri-food sector is key to the wealth of our economy as it generates many direct and indirect jobs in our country.”
According to the data of decreasing levels of air pollution that have been known during the confinement, it has become clear that agriculture and livestock are neither the only nor the main ones responsible for greenhouse gas emissions.
Livestock sectors record emissions like all human activities, but they are far from being the main causes of air pollution and climate change and, on the contrary, have been working for a long time to be part of the solution, facing inexcusable measures to productions that are increasingly sustainable and with less environmental footprint, contributing to the global challenge of all economic and social actors to guarantee a sustainable future for our planet.
Livestock sectors record emissions like all human activities, but they are far from being the main causes of air pollution and climate change.
In this sense, Felipe Vilas intervened to point out that the application of R + D + i is allowing the development of new production systems and techniques with a lower environmental impact, with the aim of a progressive reduction of greenhouse gas emissions , not being self-congratulatory, but advancing hand in hand with scientists and technicians, public administrations and explaining it to consumers.
Examples of this effort included work to reduce the carbon footprint of the beef sector by 15% (Life Beef Carbon Project), or data on the reduction of emissions of ammonia (47%) and methane (54%) in the pig sector, according to the National Inventory of emissions of air pollutants), and taking into account that there are already productions such as sheep or rabbit that have practically no emissions.
On the other hand, the work of the sectors in the ethical and nutritional aspects of the productions was also highlighted, with a pioneering initiative in Europe such as the Seal of “Commitment to Animal Welfare”, launched by all meat interprofessionals with demands and controls higher than those required by the European and national regulations for a greater guarantee for the consumer, or the “Reformulation Commitment” signed by the industry with the Ministry of Health to reduce salt, fat or sugar in the products placed in the market.
The president of the Madrid Veterinary College concluded: “The sector has shown that it is very responsible by vocation, with great professionalism. Over time, it has been able to adapt to very large crises, making reconversions, even anticipating what consumers demand. Livestock farming is an engine in our country now and in the future that will generate jobs. ”
Leadership and commitment to society
As a conclusion of the meeting, it was stated that the agri-food sector, with meat in the lead, will lead the economic recovery after the coronavirus, reaffirming once again its commitment to society to offer quality products, safe and with the highest standards of animal welfare. and environmental.
The agri-food sector, with meat in the lead, will lead the economic recovery after the coronavirus.