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Red meat is 'greener' than people think - but farmers must not ‘stick their head in the sand’

The industry has been warned not to stick its head in the sand amid concerns of meat’s environmental impact.

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Red meat is 'greener' than people think - but farmers must not ‘stick their head in the sand’

Farmers and the rest of the red meat industry must not ‘stick their head in the sand’ on concerns about the environmental impact of red meat, as consumers were listening to negative reports.

 

But Welsh red meat was greener than many people think, with Dr Prysor Williams, from Bangor University, highlighting the ‘facts’ banded around often came from ‘dubious sources’.

 

Impact

 

He said ‘every kind of food’ had an environmental impact to produce, not just red meat. And not all production was the same, with grass based meat able to have a lower impact.


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With much of Welsh farmland only suitable for growing grass, Dr Williams believed it was irresponsible to simply export environmental impact, and through collaboration and benchmarking producers could bring down their carbon footprint.

 

Dr Williams said if the lamb sector could perform as well as the top 25 per cent, they could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent.

 

“If you are carbon efficient, you are usually energy and input efficient. Carbon efficiency and profit go hand in hand,” he said.

 

Campaigns

 

HCC chairman Kevin Roberts said they were launching consumer campaigns alongside the other UK levy bodies to talk about the benefits of red meat, and HCC would also be launching something on its environmental impact.

 

“We have got a good story to tell. We are not challenged like some of the other sectors,” he said.

 

“We produce good quality meat with a low carbon footprint. We are comfortable with our positioning on that.”

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