Meat-livestock production is a fundamental and irreplaceable pillar of the global set of the world food system, and essential to guarantee its environmental, social and economic sustainability. It would be meaningless or justified to allow any approach to reducing or substituting, in whole or in part, said meat-livestock production ”. That has been the main conclusion of the independent INTERPORC Dialogue, sponsored by the UN, which was held today under the title ‘The livestock-meat chain and the fulfillment of the SDGs: challenges and future challenges’, whose conclusions will be taken into account ahead of the next ‘Food Systems Summit’ to be held in New York in September after a ‘Pre-Summit’ in Rome in July.
The Dialogue has had the participation of more than 80 people from different fields related to food systems: among them professionals from the livestock-meat sector and food production, representatives of consumers and public administrations, NGOs, companies, veterinarians, researchers or communicators.
The participants have claimed that the sustainability of agri-food systems be analyzed and valued from a comprehensive approach: environmental, social and economic. In this sense, they have explained that “the environmental and socioeconomic profitability of meat-livestock production is unquestionable, which is fully compatible with the achievement of the environmental objectives established in the European Green Pact.”
Fight against hunger and severe malnutrition
In the Dialogue, the importance of food systems as instruments in the fight against hunger and severe malnutrition in the world has been discussed, and for this reason it has been considered that “the need to maintain food systems, such as meat-livestock, of very wide worldwide implantation and maximum and proven capacity as a food supplier ”.
Regarding the nutritional point of view, it has been pointed out that foods of animal origin are a “very rich source, unique in some cases, of various micronutrients and bioactive compounds and their restriction can lead to health problems without regular and constant supplementation. ”.
The environmental, social and economic benefit of the meat-livestock activity is vital for rural areas when managing a large amount of territory; structuring the territory by fixing the population in small nuclei; and generate wealth that allows to pay for basic infrastructures.
A vital sector for rural areas
There has also been a debate on the economic and social impact of meat-livestock activity, one of the most important and powerful engines of wealth and employment generation in most countries, and it has been stressed that “the environmental, social and economic of the meat-livestock activity is vital for rural areas when managing a large amount of territory; structuring the territory by fixing the population in small nuclei; and generate wealth that allows to pay for basic infrastructures ”.
Finally, they have shown the need for the livestock-meat sector to intensify communication towards society to reinforce its image before public opinion, to which the work carried out in matters such as caring for the environment, animal welfare or innovation, among other aspects that concern citizens.