Knowledge for better food systems

Rules to calculate environmental footprint of red meat

The European Livestock and Meat Trades Union has published a standardised methodology to calculate and mitigate the environmental impacts of beef, pork and lamb. The guidelines have been designed to allow individual companies to identify “hotspots” of environmental impacts within their own supply chains.

The guide includes advice on using life cycle assessments to compare different types of meat products or the same product over time, selecting system boundaries, which environmental impact categories to consider, and interpreting the results.

Read the full report, Footprint Category Rules Red Meat: Version 1.0, here. See also the Foodsource resource Life cycle assessment (LCA): quantifies environmental impacts from cradle to grave of a product.

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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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