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Sustainability Theme to World Meat Congress

6 June 2012, at 12:02pm

FRANCE - The World Meat Congress opened its doors on Tuesday (5 June) with its eyes firmly set on the subject of sustainable production, writes Chris Harris in Paris.

The conference welcomed the new French agriculture minister, Stephan Lefoll, following the recent elections in France and is also playing host to several other minister including the Uruguayan agriculture minister.

The congress, which is being attended by more than 700 delegates from around the world, was opened by the International Meat Secretariat president Arturo Llavallol.

He told the congress that the IMS sustainability committee had been working closely with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations over sustainability issues particularly with regard to cattle breeding.

He said that the FAO had already been working with the egg, poultry and dairy industries on sustainability issues and he said now was the time for the meat sector to find solutions.

He said the IMS has also become a global stakeholder in championing animal welfare issues. He said the industry has to focus on economic issues in countries around the world and focus on the development of production "so we can feed the billions of people in the world".

At the same time, he said that consumers are demanding good quality products.

President of the congress, Guillaume Roué, said that the programme of the congress is focusing on the demands of the market.

He said it will be tackling questions of sustainability, welfare, the environment, nutrition, health and marketing.

He said the industry has to strike a balance between the demands of these issues and the demands of business.

He said the industry has the "noble ambition of feeding the global population, but we also have to remember we are farmers".

"We are working as a food industry to provide food with quality and security, but as a farmer, we have to earn some money at the same time," he said.