Meat and sausages in the supermarket (archive) dts
Berlin (German news agency) – The German Farmers’ Association considers organic meat to be more harmful to the climate than meat from conventional production. The differences “are mainly in the required forage area,” said the Secretary General of the association, Bernhard Krüsken, the “Bild” (Friday edition).
“Since the feed, which is the biggest cost factor for the organic animals, has to come from organic production, you need a lot more space. If you relate the effort to the quantity of product produced, then the use of energy and raw materials is higher than with conventionally produced meat.” Krüsken added: “If you only define the ‘footprint’ in terms of the area used per production volume, then organic meat comes off worse.” However, if other aspects such as environmental effects and resource intensity are taken into account, a more balanced picture emerges. Matin Qaim, Professor of Agricultural Economics and Director of the Center for Development Research (ZEF) at the University of Bonn, agreed: “One kilogram of organic meat often has a larger climate footprint than conventional meat. On the one hand, organic requires more land, and the use and conversion of natural land for production is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gases from agriculture, on the other hand, larger amounts of methane are formed in the digestive tract and emitted by ruminants due to longer periods of grazing and the larger amounts of roughage in organic farming .” Sven König from the Institute for Animal Breeding at the University of Gießen also believes that organic production is generally “less efficient compared to conventional production methods”. In conventional husbandry, a higher performance per individual animal is achieved, “so that the undesirable side effect per kilogram of product produced is lower and inputs such as energy and protein go into the product to a greater extent”.