Defra urged to work woth trade to cut climate impact

Defra should dramatically increase its efforts to reduce the UK meat industry's effects on the environment, says an influential new report funded by the government.

The government body is urged by the report to galvanise retailers, procurers and the livestock sector to work together and develop road-maps for a more localised supply chain of extensively-farmed meats. Moreover, consumers are being asked to cut back on meat involved in a long supply chain, in favour of local, organic meats.

The calls are made in the Sustainable Consumption Roundtable report, I Will If You Will, a joint Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) and National Consumer Council initiative funded by Defra and the DTI.

The report also calls on Defra to promote the use of a more "diverse range of cuts of meat" which would cut down on wastage. It should also fund ad campaigns to inform the public on these cuts. The Food Standards Agency would get involved in this drive.

The Soil Association's policy director, Peter Melchett, said: "We fully agree that food is a key area where consumers can cut environmental impact - by eating local, seasonal and organic produce - so long as it is easy to adopt."

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