Knowledge for better food systems

Incentivising deforestation for livestock products

This briefing by the Global Forest Coalition looks at subsidies and supports for the livestock sector and how they harm forests and other biodiverse ecosystems. In particular, the briefing assesses the impacts of the EU-Mercosur Free Trade Agreement, which is currently being negotiated.

The briefing concludes that agricultural policy should prioritise biodiversity, animal welfare and peasant farmer rights, encourage a rapid reduction in meat and dairy consumption, and favour small-scale, localised food production.

Read more here and download the full report, “Incentivising deforestation for livestock products: How support for the livestock sector in the EU and Mercosur countries is subsidising forest destruction”, here (PDF link). See also the Foodsource resource Introduction: what are the concerns with meat and dairy, and who are the major stakeholders in the debate?

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Latin America and the Caribbean

Latin America and the Caribbean occupies the central and southern portion of the Americas. The region is home to the world’s largest river (the Amazon River), the largest rainforest (the Amazon Rainforest), and the longest mountain range (the Andes). Export-oriented agriculture constitutes an important part of the economy, especially in Brazil and Argentina. This large continent has a range of climates spanning the ice of Patagonia, the tropical forests of much of the continent, and more temperate regions in, for example, Mexico and Chile. Due to the greatly differing geography and economic development in the continent, all types of agriculture can be found in Latin America. Subsistence farming and cash cropping with coffee, cocoa and so on are common in many nations including most of central America, whereas large-scale beef production in the cerrado of Brazil provides an example of hyper-large farms run by large businesses.

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