Provacuno, the Spanish beef interprofessional, along with the sheep and goat meat interprofessionals of Hungary and Spain, JTT and Interovic, recently held an information day in Brussels as part of the ‘European Animal Welfare’ promotion program. This program, co-financed with European funds, aims to improve animal welfare standards.
The event brought together representatives from various fields including institutions, academia, associations, and producers. With over 730 participants from more than 25 nationalities, the gathering was a platform for sharing ideas and opinions on animal welfare certifications and their role in meeting consumer demands.
During the day, three round tables were conducted with the participation of experts from organizations such as the World Organization for Animal Health, European Animal Welfare Platform, and European Federation of Animal Science, among others. The discussions revolved around the current state of animal welfare, the importance of accredited certifications, and the relationship between consumers, producers, and animal welfare.
Raúl Muñiz, the president of Interovic, emphasized the need for improvement in European animal welfare. He also stressed the importance of consumer commitment and recognition through purchasing decisions to ensure the viability of the sector.
Javier López, the general director of Provacuno, highlighted the significance of promotion programs co-financed with European funds in informing the public about the sector’s commitment to animal welfare, environmental sustainability, and the cohesion of Europe. He emphasized the need for the continuity of such programs in supporting the European meat sector.
Sandor Kukóvikcs, the general director of JTT, called for greater recognition and understanding from European citizens about the efforts involved in producing safe, high-quality, and respectful food. He also urged the development of regulations that address the needs of both consumers and producers.
The event yielded valuable conclusions regarding the future of animal welfare, not only within the European Union but also in third countries. Experts discussed the importance of interconnections between countries, interprofessionals, and legislators in promoting animal welfare. The need for consumer appreciation of the efforts made by livestock farmers was also highlighted.
The importance of accredited certifications and the need to harmonize scientific knowledge with the productive sector were emphasized during the discussions. The event concluded with a call for dialogue and effective legislation that considers the viewpoints of all stakeholders.
The event was closed by Joanna Stawowy, a member of the cabinet of the European Commissioner for Agriculture, who emphasized the need for a “political exercise” to improve the sector’s current state and promote similar events. Stawowy highlighted the opportunity for dialogue between all parties involved.
Overall, the information day provided a platform for experts and stakeholders to discuss and strengthen animal welfare standards while addressing consumer expectations and industry challenges.