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Companies mobilize ambitious business action to scale up responsible meat

Published: 28 Oct 2021
Type: News

Geneva, 28 October 2021 – Today, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and 14 of its member companies launched the Responsible Meat Initiative (ReMI), a whole value chain approach that mobilizes business action around meat production. The group calls on all businesses in the pork value chain to join.

ReMI acknowledges that meat, as high-quality protein source, is an integral part of many food cultures and a critical source of nutrition. However, the current production, supply and consumption of meat have significant environmental and social impact. The overall purpose of this initiative is to accelerate a shift toward responsible meat production and consumption as part of a sustainable food system. Due to the size and footprint of the global meat sector, even small changes have the potential for considerable aggregate positive impact.

Peter Bakker, WBCSD President and CEO, said: “Better defining responsible meat and mobilizing consumers is a crucial enabler of more productive, regenerative and resilient food systems.”

ReMI members believe that meat proteins can play a vital role in creating a sustainable food system as long as the meat eaten by billions of people every day is produced and consumed responsibly.

At around 30 kg CO2e per 100g of protein, pork is significantly more impactful than legumes and plant-based protein, but with a much lower impact compared to beef production (at 50 kg CO2e per 100g). Whilst this is only one element of impact (and it is crucial to take a big picture perspective), more consideration should be given as to the role that pork may play in a future sustainable food system.

Despite growing consumer concern on the sustainability aspects of food, it remains a challenge to shift consumer decisions at the point of sale. With an initial focus on the pork supply chain, ReMI aims to overcome this barrier by better defining responsible meat in a manner that can support changes in business operations throughout the value chain that mobilize and harness the demand.

In order to identify motivations, barriers and levers to shift consumer behavior towards more sustainable meat products, WBCSD conducted an analysis of 67 research papers using the RARE Center for Behavior and the Environment methodology that provides members with potential market interventions for use as prototypes, testing, improving, and launching to market. The summary of this research is available on the ReMI website.

The website provides action areas identified agreed on and defined by member companies. These will form the basis of ambitious progress in the pork supply chain. In 2022 these action areas will be supplemented with a list of criteria on which current performance may be benchmarked. Individual and collective actions to recognize the importance of responsible meat production and consumption are now needed to change food systems for the better.

“The Responsible Meat Initiative will help achieve regenerative and equitable food systems while also improving practices in animal husbandry and welfare” - Diane Holdorf, Executive Vice President, WBCSD

“Taking responsibility from feed to fork is crucial as we progress into the 21st century. Protix is helping drive a critical transformation towards sustainable meat through insect-based feeds.” - Kees Aarts, CEO and founder, Protix

“Providing enough protein for 10 billion people by 2050 with limited resources is an enormous challenge for the global agriculture industry. Evonik is delighted to be working with partners across the pork value chain to meet this challenge, and ensure that sustainability and animal welfare are respected throughout the production process.” – Ralf Kelle, Head of Sustainability Business Integration, Evonik

“Farmers’ centric solutions are crucial to advance a more inclusive and sustainable food systems. Bayer is proud to be part of the Responsible Meat Initiative with the WBCSD and many organizations working to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030”   - Natasha Santos, Bayer VP Stakeholders Strategy and Affairs, Bayer

ReMI current membership consists of the following companies: ADM, Bayer, Bühler, Compass Group, CP Group, Corteva, DSM, Evonik, IKEA, Maple Leaf, Niman Ranch, Protix, Rabobank, Tyson.

Please get in touch with Matthew Watkins if you are interested in joining our mission, or if you have questions or comments.

Find out more about this initiative by navigating to www.responsiblemeat.org

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