THE NETHERLANDS, Utrecht. The growing focus on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is rapidly driving changes in the red meat industry. While governments and regulators set in place programs to meet their commitments under the Paris Agreement, there are also a range of initiatives and programs outside of government that will ensure the red meat industry can take advantage of this changing consumer demand.
Industry-based initiatives, consumer- and retail-driven programs, influence from ancillary partners, and technology providers are all progressing change. Any one of these could become the dominant force of change, or more likely, they will all operate concurrently across the industry.
A headwind for change lies in the measurement of GHG emissions – particularly for sheep and cattle production. “Without easy, reliable, consistent ways to measure on-farm emissions, change is more difficult to implement. For this reason, we believe that supply chain-driven initiatives are likely to make faster progress than regulatory reforms,” according to Angus Gidley-Baird, Senior Analyst – Animal Protein.
“We believe that price premiums for low-GHG emission or carbon-neutral beef will be limited. Instead, carbon neutrality or reduced emissions will become one of a number of attributes associated with a product in a dedicated supply chain used to promote a product, gain consumer trust, and maintain or build access into markets,” says Gidley-Baird.