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14 May 2012
EBLEX has welcomed calls from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to work towards developing a more sustainable food system that does not have a detrimental impact on England's beef and sheep producers.
It follows the publication of the Environmental Audit Committee's report on Sustainable Food and WWF-UK's response that the government should tackle issues around production, consumption and subsidies.
But while welcoming WWF-UK's support of work already being carried out by the livestock sector to reduce environmental impact, EBLEX has stressed the need for clarity in defining exactly what a sustainable diet is and the consumption of 'less but better quality meat'.
EBLEX sector director Nick Allen said: “We are delighted that WWF and other organisations like Friends of the Earth (FoE) are now recognising the real value of red meat in a balanced diet and acknowledging the valuable contribution beef and sheep production makes to this country. We are all pushing in the same direction and working towards more sustainable production. In England we have the right climate, landscape and professionalism to produce high quality beef and lamb to help feed our population in an efficient way making best use of available resources.
“However, the complexities around consuming 'less but better quality meat' are far reaching and we are far from clear exactly what this statement means, how this is achieved – or what it gains. Similar issues surround the concept of defining a sustainable diet. UK consumers are not actually high consumers of red meat compared to other countries in the EU and further afield. We look forward to discussing these issues further and being involved in the debate on what needs to happen next.”