Wales is playing its part in global discussions on how to achieve a more sustainable red meat sector.
Hybu Cig Cymru-Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), which recently published its ‘Welsh Way’ drive to help improve and promote sustainable red meat production, took to the global stage as key nations joined an international conversation to input into a high profile United Nations Summit.
Top industry experts led a Food Systems Dialogue attended by the sector’s leading national industry representatives to inform the first-ever United Nations Food Systems Summit which will take place in New York in September.
HCC supported the event, co-ordinated by the Global Meat Alliance, and attended policy “think tank” sessions aimed at further developing and highlighting the successes of sustainable red meat production systems into the ongoing detailed UN food systems conversation. Participants included producers, industry bodies, government, NGOs, global processors, butchers and retailers from around the world.
International experts led discussions on ‘the role of the global meat sector in future sustainable food systems’ aiming at positive and lasting change on the role of protein in feeding the growing world’s population; the dietary implications of going without red meat; the sustainable management of existing food production systems; future-proofing our food systems; and the essential maintenance of a balanced debate.
Laura Ryan (Co-Chair of Global Meat Alliance) said “Whilst it’s important for individual countries to demonstrate the effectiveness of their production systems and the fantastic sustainability investments, it’s absolutely essential the global meat industry comes together in a pre-competitive space to discuss the joint challenges and opportunities there are for animal agriculture. At an inter-governmental level there is a huge amount of pressure in the meat industry and it’s essential we work together with a fact based approach.”
Export Market Development Executive Deanna Jones, who attended the event explained that, alongside further domestic development, helping to unify the global industry behind positive sustainable practices was an essential target for HCC. “While our farmers work to reinforce their sustainability performance, there are international issues to improve and that’s at the top of the agenda of a number of significant meetings being held at an intergovernmental level during 2021 including COP26 in Glasgow.
“It’s so important for our industry to engage collectively at a pre-competitive level to ensure our best practices are represented and to further drive innovation and improvement for the sustainability of our sector – HCC is determined to lead the way in this field,” she said.
“Our non-intensive beef and sheep farming practices, with animals reared in tune with our landscape using natural grass and rainwater and with farmers managing grassland in ways that help capture carbon, are making a positive difference to climate change,” said Deanna