ISSN 2330-717X

Sustainable Beef Farming In Europe: Policy And Practice

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Beef industry stakeholders all over Europe are invited to attend the first trans-national meeting of BovINE – the first and only EU-funded Beef Innovation Network – to focus on improving sustainability across the sector.

BovINE’s online meeting, Sustainable Beef Farming: Policy & Practice in the Context of the Green Deal,will focus on how sustainability can be improved within the industry by sharing research innovations and examples of on farm good practices with European stakeholders.

The event on December 1 is organized by BovINE – the EU-funded network project focused on addressing the sustainability challenges being faced by the beef farming sector.

Keynote speakers will include Janusz Wojciechowski (European Commissioner for Agriculture of Poland, tbc)), Grzegorz Puda (Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Poland), Jean Pierre Fleury (Chairman of Copa-Cogeca), Brendan Golden (Chairman, National Livestock Committee, Irish Farmers Association), Jacek Zarzecki (President of the Polish Association of Beef Cattle Breeders and Producers), and Jean Francoise Hocquete (Scientific Reference Group of International Meat Research 3GF, INRAE, President of EAAP cattle commission).

BovINE Project Coordinator, Professor Maeve Henchion, of Teagasc, says: “I am delighted that the first BovINE trans-national meeting is being hosted by our partner the Polish Beef Association (PBA). The meeting will present European and Polish perspectives on the future of beef farming in Europe, and bring together – virtually – farmers, advisors, researchers, and other stakeholders from across Europe, to discuss innovative and practical solutions to current challenges faced by the beef sector.

“Covid19 restrictions, ironically, provide us with a great opportunity to be even more innovative and bring wider groups together. Translation from English to Polish will be provided through our conference platform so I would urge anyone with an interest in the European beef industry to join us.”

Host of the meeting Jerzy Wierzbicki, Chair of Polish Beef Association says: “A cornerstone of the European Green Deal is the EU’s Farm to Fork Strategy. The aim of the strategy is to provide European citizens with access to healthy, affordable, and sustainable food, tackle climate change, protect the environment, and ensure a fair economic return in the supply chain.

“We are proud that the BovINE project facilitates the inclusion of farmers’ solutions to the implementation of this strategy. Hosting BovINE’s first trans-national meeting, building on the national events recently held across nine European countries, provides a concrete platform for sharing those solutions with all stakeholders.”

This meeting follows national events in nine EU member states with relevant stakeholders that have stimulated awareness of BovINE and the exchange of knowledge and ideas to drive awareness and adoption of innovative and proven practices.

The BovINE partner consortium, represents 75% of the suckler cow population in Europe and 70% of the beef production output. The BovINE network connects with farmers across Europe by providing an open platform – the BovINE Knowledge Hub – where beef farmers, advisers, member organisations and researchers can exchange knowledge on Research Innovations (RIs) and Good Practices (GPs) and share experiences.

Forty Research innovations and nine good practices will be shared during the meeting across four topics – socio-economic resilience, animal health & welfare, production efficiency and meat quality, and environmental sustainability. Each recommendation addresses specific challenges currently facing European beef farmers and includes lameness in finisher bulls, reducing mortality of new born calves, reduction of the carbon footprint of beef production, economic planning of beef cattle farms, and animal monitoring tools in beef production.

The event also includes thematic networking sessions and a virtual visit to Polish beef farms.

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