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Global food production needs to increase to feed the 9 billion people living on the planet in 2050. Yet the agricultural sector is highly vulnerable to climate change and contributes significantly to GHG emissions. Agricultural systems thus need to evolve towards increased resilience and efficiency. Photo: FAO/G. Napolitano

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Photo by: Singh (Flickr)


Caroline Guinot, c.guinot@interbev.fr, Jean-Baptiste Dolle, jean-Baptiste.Dolle@idele.fr

Launched in October 2015, the “LIFE BEEF CARBON” initiative aims at promoting innovative livestock farming systems and associated practices to ensure the technical, economic, environmental and social sustainability of beef farms, and thus to improve interactions between climate change and livestock production. The initiative aims at reducing beef carbon footprint by 15% over 10 years in 4 major and contrasting countries producing beef in Europe: France, Ireland, Italy and Spain.

Cofinanced by the LIFE programm from European commission and Casdar from French agriculture Ministry, the initiative is led by the Institut de l’Élevage (IDELE) and the Interprofession du Bétail et de la Viande (INTERBEV), and includes 6 Chambers of agriculture, 5 cooperatives, 4 beef recording organizations   from France ; Teasgasc and Bord Bia from Ireland ; CRA and 2 producer associations from Italy ; ASOPROVAC and 2 producer associations from Spain

Actions to be implemented:

  1. Establish a common beef carbon framework composed of innovative practices aiming at reducing GHG emissions and increasing carbon sequestration, through an inventory of existing methodologies and practices, information sharing, harmonization, building a common GHG assessment methodology, updating advisory tools to allow comparison;
  2. Involve 150 Training advisers (national and regional) and 170 innovative farmers, to build a common knowledge/base;
  3. Create a demonstrative observatory composed of 2,000 beef farms, taking part in the first carbon assessment actions operated at such a scale;
  4. Build a network of 170 innovative farms to test/apply/promote innovative techniques to reduce GHG emissions and increase carbon storage. Development, monitoring and promotion of beef farms with a low carbon footprint;
  5. Establish national/EU carbon awareness and mobilization building on an EU beef carbon farmers’ network, allowing exchanges between farmers and advisers in the 4 countries;
  6. Develop French/Irish/Italian/Spanish national BEEF CARBON ACTION PLANS, and a relevant partnership strategy for other national and UE levels. These action plans will demonstrate to the beef value chains the interest and feasibility of this approach aiming at reducing the beef carbon footprint by 15% in 10 years.

Photo credit: Singh (Flickr)

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