Big tick for livestock from new consumer survey

'Meat isn't destroying the planet': new consumer survey


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TICK FOR MEAT: A new consumer survey by US-based agricultural giant, Cargill, has revealed widespread acceptance of the sustainability of livestock production and its role in a healthy diet.

TICK FOR MEAT: A new consumer survey by US-based agricultural giant, Cargill, has revealed widespread acceptance of the sustainability of livestock production and its role in a healthy diet.

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Cargill's latest consumer survey in four countries has revealed strong support for livestock farming and meat consumption

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Those waging a war on meat and livestock will be disappointed with new global research from US-based agricultural giant, Cargill.

More than two-thirds of respondents to their latest consumer survey said they intended to maintain or increase their consumption of animal protein in the next year.

But four-fifths of participants also expressed interest in plant-based or alternative sources of protein.

"We're pleased consumers see animal protein as an important part of a healthy diet," the president of Cargill's premix and nutrition business, Chuck Warta, said.

In its latest Feed4Thought survey, Cargill found 93pc of respondents across the US, Brazil, the Netherlands and Vietnam cared about sustainable food production.

Meat received a big tick with 80pc of survey participants saying it can be part of an environmentally responsible regimen and 93pc saying it can play an important role in a healthy diet.

Consumers also expect companies like Cargill, the biggest privately owned company based in the US, to step up.

When asked who bears most responsibility for ensuring food production is sustainable, almost a third of participants selected food and feed manufacturers as their top choice.

Governments came in second (25pc) and then consumers via the foods they choose to eat (20pc).

Respondents globally were fairly evenly split between wanting livestock producers to focus on reducing antibiotics, using feed with sustainable ingredients, reducing pollutants and "doing more with less".

"All of us in agriculture want to raise our productivity and efficiency - not just so we can operate our businesses more profitably but so we can steward resources for the next generation who will take over some day," Mr Warta said.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has withdrawn support for the controversial EAT-Lancet "diet for planetary health".

Launched in January 2019, the EAT-Lancet diet was the work of a group of prominent academics seeking to solve the looming problem of feeding 10 billion people by 2050 without destroying the planet.

They called for a 90pc cut in red meat consumption and increased intake of plant-based foods.

The move to drastically cut red meat consumption was based on their view it had a high environmental footprint per serving compared to other food groups. Livestock farming was having has an impact on greenhouse gas emissions, land use and biodiversity loss.

But major concerns were raised about the impact of the diet on people's health and livelihoods, leading to WHO dropping its endorsement.

And one of the authors of the EAT-Lancet diet, US-based Professor Jessica Fanzo, has admitted to the Irish News their report ignored the impact o the diet on consumers and the livelihood of farmers.

"We don't want to eliminate animals from the planet, they play an important role in the economic system," she said.

"There's a kinship between animals and farmers but we can farm in a more sustainable way, reducing greenhouse gases, reducing manure management, increasing nitrogen use efficiency, managing land where animals are raised in a better way."

Professor Fanzo, from the Berman Institute of Bioethics at John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, US, said the world was quickly running out of time time to rein in climate change.

The story Big tick for livestock from new consumer survey first appeared on Farm Online.

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