The RISE Foundation is currently researching and looking for funding for its next focus area of work which will be on the livestock sector.
For RISE, the debate around the livestock sector holds all the elements that make it interesting for a review piece. Firstly, there appear to be several lines of rationale. On the one hand there are those, mostly environmental and health organisations but also international organisations and some governmental bodies, that are focusing their efforts on calling for a reduction in consumption. On the other hand, the predominant industry voice is arguing for increased resource use efficiency and associated pollution reduction, and finally there are those who come from the more agro-ecological stand point who see a livestock sector that is out of balance and call for a return to a mixed farming approach. Early research shows limited link up between these arguments that all have their merits as part of a wider strategy to address the issue of livestock production. Secondly the growing scrutiny of the livestock sector will likely result in it becoming a central theme in future debate concerning both national and European level agricultural and environmental policy. And thirdly much of the debate on the future of the livestock sector and changes in consumption patterns has been discussed in the global context. To move forward, the discussion needs to be taken out of the ‘global solution’ discussion and brought down to a European level.
Some key reports and online resources:
- Changing Climate, Changing Diets: Pathways to Lower Meat Consumption and Livestock (2015) and Livestock - Climate Change’s Forgotten Sector (2014) - Chatham House
- Shifting Diets for a Sustainable Food Future (2016) and Creating a Sustainable Food Future (2013) - World Resources Institute (WRI)
- Livestock’s Long Shadow (2006) - U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
- Livewell report. A balance of healthy and sustainable food choices for France, Spain and Sweden (2013) - WWF
- What is a sustainable healthy diet? (2014) and Gut feelings and possible tomorrows: (where) does animal farming fit? (2015) - Food Climate Research Network (FCRN)
- Meat atlas (2014) - Friends of the Earth and Heinrich Böll Stiftung
- Food systems and Natural Resources (2016) - UNEP- International Resource Panel (IRP)
- Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock
- Beyond milk, meat and eggs: Role of livestock in food and nutrition security - International Livestock Research Institute