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EU on meat: "We will not reduce consumption, no to imported products"

European Commission reply the question by Hermann Tertsch

EFA News publishes the written answer of Mr Wojciechowski in full on behalf of the European Commission. (8.2.2021)

No specific targets or objectives have been set in the Farm to Fork Strategy in relation to meat consumption. The orientation taken, following dietary and nutritional guidelines, which do not exclude the consumption of meat, is to advise eating less red and processed meat as part of a balanced diet. The Commission has no plans to set targets to reduce the EU livestock population by a specific percentage during a specific time period. Therefore, it has no information on the possible impact on the most depopulated rural areas if the livestock population was reduced by 15% by 2030. The Commission has recently commissioned an external study report on the "Future of EU livestock: how to contribute to a sustainable agricultural sector?". The results are available on the Commission’s website1 and will contribute to a factual debate on the sustainability of the livestock sector, presenting both its positive and negative impacts. 

EU meat production responds to domestic and global (the EU is a major food exporter) demand. As set out in the Farm to Fork Strategy, sustainability aspects (climate, environment, but also animal welfare and public health) are increasingly important for consumers. This will translate into changing demands. The Green Deal is about adjusting to this new demand and making use of the opportunities offered. In any case, the Commission has no plans to restrict the capacity of meat production in Europe and replace it with imports.


Question for written answer by Mr Hermann Tertsch to the committee. (8.12.2020)

Subject: campaigns against livestock farming in Europe.

In recent months, despite the pandemic, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of campaigns of harassment and smear campaigns against livestock farming in Europe. Recently, a campaign was launched to stop the "Become a Beefatarian" meat promotion programme in Europe, based on a biased and erroneous interpretation of the so-called Green Deal. I would like to ask the Commission to clarify certain aspects of the livestock sector and the implications of the Farm to Fork Strategy.

1. Does the Commission intend to reduce meat consumption as an objective of the Farm to Fork Strategy? What would be the impact on the most depopulated rural areas in the EU if the livestock population were reduced by 15% by 2030?

2. What instruments does the Commission plan to use to combat fake news and disinformation about the livestock sector?

3. Does the Commission think that a hypothetical reduction in our capacity to produce meat and replace it with imports from third countries would be consistent with the objectives of the Green Deal?

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EFA News - European Food Agency
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