HCC urges industry to become more sustainable
Consumer and retailers must work alongside farmers to create a more sustainable 2016, according to Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC).
“Climate change is indisputable and we all have our obligations to the reduction of emissions agreed by the international community at the Paris talks in December,” said Dai Davies, HCC chairman.
“However, the Welsh livestock farming community is only one small component within the colossal change required. More must be done to integrate our efforts into a wider programme of action that includes public awareness, retailer policy and consumer behaviour, as well as producer husbandry.”
Davies declared that Welsh livestock farmers would be able to benefit from support from HCC to help them reduce emissions. To achieve this, it was highlighted that rearing and finishing animals must be done within optimum conditions and timescales.
“The Welsh supply chain has made some good gains as a group in recent years,” continued Davies. “We are well-positioned after our trailblazing strategic work of a few years ago, with HCC’s commended Environmental Road Map for the Red Meat Industry.”
Regarding the recent floods in the north of the country, the chairman said farmers “identified an indisputable truth” that a co-ordinated approach was required to prevent similar situations.
“This can be reflected in actions to restrict and prevent global warming, as well as to roll back its consequences. Livestock farming does not stand alone; it is part of a much wider package of contributory factors that must address warming issues.”
To tackle these issues, Davies called on consumers and multiple retailers to take responsibility and work with the farming industry alongside HCC.
“Consumers can support farmers by hunting down and buying local,” added Davies. “Retailers can help our producers to be environmentally and economically sustainable by taking action to protect the consistent supply of efficiently produced Welsh red meat to the consumer – and not succumb to the temptation to undermine it by flooding the market with cheap imports that have been shopped around the world and dramatically upset production patterns.
“With red meat, like all other commodities, sustainability can only be achieved if spot profits are shunned and there is no fuelling of inappropriate consumer responses ahead of wider environmental concerns.”
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