Knowledge for better food systems

Summary report on Eating Better workshop on climate impacts of pasture farming

In November 2017, in response to the FCRN’s report Grazed and Confused, the Eating Better Alliance brought together a range of researchers and civil society to discuss pasture farming and in particular its contribution to climate change. The meeting began with a presentation by Tara Garnett. It was organised because Eating Better was keen to have a discussion about the implications of this research for civil society messaging toward ‘less and better’ meat and dairy, and farming in pasture-based livestock systems.

This was the first roundtable of Eating Better’s new programme of work to bring people together to address contested or challenging issues. They sought to hear different perspectives, to develop knowledge and shared understanding and navigate ways through the complexities around pasture farming and its climate impact.

Some of the key conclusions were:

  • Civil society’s fundamental message about animal product consumption must be that less meat and dairy needs to be consumed
  • While ‘less’ is the fundamental principle, there are a range of issues to consider in choosing ‘better’ for the meat and dairy that is eaten, including animal welfare and methods of production
  • A challenge for behaviour change is the abundance of cheap meat and dairy products available, and that this has become the norm

You can download the Summary Report here.

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Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering just over 10 million square kilometres or 6.8% of the global land area, but it is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of around 740 million people or about 11% of the world's population. Its climate is heavily affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent. In the European Union, farmers represent only 4.7% of the working population, yet manage nearly half of its land area.

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