La revue Viandes et produits carnés

La revue française de la recherche en viandes et produits carnés  ISSN  2555-8560

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 BIEN-ETRE ANIMAL

 
 

Stockfarming orientations for the future: both competitive and sustainable

The stockfarming sector in France and Europe has numerous advantages regarding social and economic expectations of the public : its powerful organization, its ability to be part of world food supply, its farming diversity, its efficient food safety system, its focus on a sustainable activity , etc. Maintaining the French and European stockfarming model implies a firm strategy of adaptation. The key elements that have to be taken into account should be the following : reinforcing European stockfarming competitiveness, renewing farming generations, expanding energy autonomy and energy production from the farm, promoting sustainable systems and adapting products to the consumers. This vision of the future of stockfarming, shared by both national authority and producers in France, has to be recognized by international organizations such as the FAO.

Cattle feed in France: average rations and farm autonomy

How are the dairy and beef cattle populations being fed in France? Consumers and citizens have growing concerns about this question that weighs on the image of animal breeding and products that come from cattle farming.  In order to update knowledge on this topic, the French institute on animal farming (Institut de l’Elevage) carried out a study in 2012 on roughage and concentrate consumption in 660 farms for the French Meat information center (Centre d’information des viandes). Researchers calculated the quantity of products eaten by each animal and the average basic data for different production systems. By extrapolating these data to the total French cattle population, this study determined the average ration in French cattle farming, the main animal feed categories and the proportions given to the cattle. The figures confirmed the importance of grass in the rations (whether fresh or preserved) and the great feed autonomy of cattle farming in France.

Diagnosis of competitiveness of the French and European poultry sector

For the past twenty years, world poultry has recorded a strong growth in production and an even stronger one in trade. The European Union has received few benefits of this momentum, with a very moderate growth and a loss of its market share in world trade. French poultry farming and industry has had a weaker evolution, with production being stable in the meantime. With a very moderate growth in the 1990’s, France recorded, during the past decade, a significant decline, partly due to the loss of export markets and to the constant raise of imports. Different data and studies show that the French sector suffers from poor competitiveness with its competitors of third countries like Brazil and with the European market.

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