Planet Diversity World Congress on the Future of Food and Agriculture

The "Livestock Revolution"

Impacts of industrial livestock farming in Europe, Asia, Latin America

Organisers:  An Maeyens, Aseed and Nina Holland, Corporate Europe Observatory,

Speakers:
Susanne Gura
Polish farmer
Gilda Roa
and others

Outline:
After the green revolution, the livestock revolution was kicked off in the late nineties. Highly subsidized, the meat and milk production based on concentrate feed is pervasive. Farmers around the world are integrated in industrial value chains using unsustainable production conditions. The genetics provided to them come from a handful of companies, their impact on environment, food sovereignty, animal welfare and human health is felt around the world. This workshop will inform about these developments, give voice to current resistance to these developments, and discuss alternatives.

International demand for GM soy and maize is growing because, besides agrofuels, of increased meat consumption mainly in Asia and Eastern Europe. This means disastrous impacts for local populations and their food sovereignty in Southern producing countries like Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina.

Also in Europe small scale farmers and rural population are facing the consequences of ever growing intensification of livestock production and the concentration of not only the market but also of the industrial breeding lines in the hands of a  few companies. While small scale producers disappear, giant animal production facilities cause unimaginable animal suffering and heavily pollute water and soils.

Local representatives will report about the impacts of the feed crops expansion and the concentration of livestock genetics industry. The workshop will inform about resistance movements and options for famers and consumers to counter these developments.

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Last Contributions

Background Papers and further reading

Livestock Genetics Companies, Concentration and proprietary strategies of an emerging power in the global food economy
Susanne Gura, League for Pastoral Peoples and Endogenous Livestock Development, supported by Greenpeace Germany, 2007

The growing demand for livestock
As global demand for meat and milk increases, many policies focus on promoting international trade in livestock and livestock products. How does this affect the community-based livestock services that poor people use, and who will benefit from the expanding global markets?
By id21

Livestock impacts on the environment: Lifestock production accounts for:
18% of all greenhouse gases (more than transport)
37 % of all pesticide use
50 % of all antibiotic use
a third of the nitrogen and phosphorus loads in freshwater resources
8 % of global water use
20 percent of the total terrestrial animal biomass

23 of 35 "global hotspots for biodiversity" are seriously affected by livestock production.

Grazing occupies 26 percent of the Earth's terrestrial surface
70 percent of previously forested land in the Amazon is used as pasture
Full report online: Livestock's long shadow (FAO, 2006)

The Livestock RevolutionRévolution dans l'élevage, les impacts des élevages industriels en Europe, Asie et Amérique LatineDie “Livestock Revolution”The Livestock Revolution

Local Organising Committee