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INRA
24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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SustainBeef

Sustainbeef :

Co-definition and evaluation of sustainable beef farming systems based on resources non edible by humans

Summary

© INRA

Due to a growing world population and changing consumption patterns, demand for animal products is expected to increase. Ruminant-based systems have the potential advantage of using resources non edible by humans and converting these into high quality human food. However, the emergence of intensive ruminant production systems, relying on increasing use of concentrate feeds, with food value, and the related increase in land abandonment in traditional grassland regions, has increased scrutiny in respect of the sustainability of EU livestock productions. Moreover the consumers’ point of view, the social acceptability of cattle products is being questioned with regards to food quality and safety, animal welfare and the competition between feed and food.

© INRA

To face these drawbacks, we hypothesize that cattle farming systems which rely mainly on grasslands and agro-industrial resources non-edible by humans are more or can be designed to be more sustainable than specialized systems which use feedstuffs that could also be directly used as food or that was produced at the detriment of food production. In addition such systems would greatly contribute to circular economy. Our measure of sustainability includes, environmental and social dimensions as well as economic perspectives taking into account the services delivered by these systems. Our proposal focuses on beef production systems as they are increasingly questioned by society.

To test this, actual and potential performances of systems representative of Europe will be compared, mobilizing multidisciplinary and multi-actors approaches to co-define 1-beef system types, 2-the set of sustainability indicators to be mobilized, 3-potential scenarios of evolution for more sustainable systems. These scenarios will be evaluated and, furthermore, suitable incentive measures to enhance their implementation will be tested and, when relevant, proposed. The dissemination of results will be facilitated throughout this bottom-up approach.

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Implementation plan

To reach these objectives, the project is structured as follows:

WP

- WP1 will ensure the scientific and financial coordination of the overall project and promote the exploitation and dissemination of the results.

- WP2 will define :

  1. through a multi-actors and multicriteria approaches, the indicators to characterize systems’ sustainability and their relative weight
  2. beef systems typology, based on expert knowledge, national statistics and commercial farm data

- WP3 will simulate farm systems economic, environmental and social performances – including ecosystem services - for the selected farm types under the actual context and scenarios of evolution.

- WP4 will identify innovations to improve systems efficiency and, on these bases, propose alternative scenarios.

The performances of these scenarios will be evaluated in WP3 at farm level and in WP4 at territorial and value chain scales levels.

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SusAn

This research was made possible by funding from SusAn, an ERA-Net co-funded under European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (www.era-SusAn.eu), under Grant Agreement n°696231

Wallonie

  

ANR