His comments followed the publication of the Coller Fairr Protein Producer Index – a global report on 50 of the world’s largest meat, fish and dairy producers – which claimed only one in four even measured their greenhouse gas emissions, let alone acted to reduce them.
“The UK industry is doing lots to cut its environmental impact,” said Allen. “The latest Climate Change Committee report (July 2019) shows UK agriculture as being responsible for 9% of total UK emissions. Livestock production is just under half of that.
“The UK remains a very sustainable place to produce beef and lamb compared to many other parts of the world, because of our weather and topography.”
Use of antibiotics
The Index also criticised producers for their use of antibiotics on healthy animals and a lack of any policy on deforestation in all the regions they operated in.
“The 2019 Index demonstrates that the vast majority of companies have yet to meaningfully address even the most basic sustainability risks,” it said.
However, Cranswick – the only UK-based business to appear on the report – was recognised as operating best-practice standards.
The firm said it had measures in place to target greenhouse gas emissions, including using new technologies and moving to 100% renewable energy for all grid-supplied electricity.