Knowledge for better food systems

Meat and dairy production and consumption in Sweden : Two reports

The Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology (SIK) has produced two reports, one on the GHG emissions arising from the Swedish production and the other on emissions arising from the consumption of meat, milk and eggs between 1990 and 2005. The studies show the different findings you get if you take a production
The Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology (SIK) has produced two reports, one on the GHG emissions arising from the Swedish production and the other on emissions arising from the consumption of meat, milk and eggs between 1990 and 2005. The studies show the different findings you get if you take a production oriented approach to calculating emissions as compared with a consumption oriented approach. The studies find that the total GHG emissions from Swedish animal production decreased by 14 % between 1990 and 2005, mainly due to improved efficiency and reduced production volumes. On the other hand, Swedish consumption of animal products increased, and more animal products were imported to compensate for the declining national animal production. As a result, per capita GHG emissions from the consumption of animal products increased by 16 % between 1990 and 2005. The report highlights the fact that if dairy consumption goes down but meat consumption stays the same or goes up, then you need more dedicated beef, or suckler cattle to compensate for the reduction in dairy calf 'byproducts' that get fattened up for beef. Cederberg makes an argument for 'breeding for multifunctionality' elsewhere: see Cederberg C and Stadig M. (2003). System Expansion and Allocation in Life Cycle Assessment of Milk and Beef Production Int J LCA 8 (6) 350 - 356 (2003).
 

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