Meat consumption under the spotlight in EU Parliament ENVI meeting

Meat production and consumption was under the spotlight during a meeting of the European Parliament’s Environment (ENVI) Committee in Brussels yesterday, Thursday, June 4.

The meeting discussed the EU’s new Farm to Fork Strategy and asked questions to the European Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski via videolink yesterday.

One MEP committee member, Green MEP Tilly Metz from Luxembourg asked the commissioner:

“Considering that farm to fork recognises that animal farming accounts for 60% of the CO2 emissions for agriculture, can the commission explain why its not including any objective on reducing meat production and imports in the EU?

And will the commission stop funding campaigns to promote meat consumption – not only red and processed meat, but all kinds of meat?

“Meat production is the elephant in the room; saying consumers should better choose is not enough – food production has to change.”

In his response, Commissioner Wojciechowski said:

“I am promoting meat products from sustainable livestock farming, i.e. an alternative to intensive farming, or promoting meat products from organic farming – I think that does actually make sense.

“Because if we’re talking about organic farming, with a focus on animal welfare, then I think we could promote these products; and animal welfare is something that has to be seen as an indication of organic farming.

So we have to support those farmers that are organic farming or belong to those groups of farms that have increased on a voluntary basis their standards of animal welfare.

“A lower animal density in farm buildings, or using hay and straw as litter for the animals, so that the animals feel better. So obviously we have to ensure better animal conditions.

“And I think it’s by introducing these kinds of practices that we’ll bring about improvement,” the commissioner said.