Product quality as a lever to change farming practices to meet society’s expectations - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
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Product quality as a lever to change farming practices to meet society’s expectations


Product quality has long been the focus of taste improvement in livestock products. Today, new approaches induced by stakeholders aim to introduce new practices into specifications that meet society’s expectations. These changes may emerge at different levels of scale and initiative (private operators, groups of players or entire sector). Based on examples, we show how the evolution of specifications or new approaches meet expectations of society and how practices are being modified. The PDO-PGI labels increase the exigence about environmental issues and local feed use by animals. In milk sector, the cheese production now involves improving the sustainability of farming practices. A commercial approach with the BBC brand aims at modifying the animals’ diet to improve the nutritional aspect, mainly by increasing grass for ruminants, or using linseed for other animals. For poultry, the ‘European Chicken Commitment’ aims to improve welfare of conventional chicken production. This initiative focuses on several farming practices to improve animal welfare, and many operators have agreed to evolve them by 2026. In the rabbit sector, cooperatives and the largest French rabbit slaughterhouse has developed a new system for raising rabbits in large pens on the ground (‘Lapin et Bien’ brand). The aim was to take better account of animal welfare, and opposition with cage farming. In the beef sector, a new demand for red, tender and marbled meat is born especially in restaurants and butchers. To date, this type of meat is mainly imported. A wholesale butcher company has developed an integrated local chain with cattle farmers to adapt breeds, and practices to improve sustainability. These approaches are evaluated with criteria to asses sustainable livestock farming for tomorrow (feed-food competition, climate change mitigation, nutritional intake and animal welfare). In addition to the co-construction of the technical system between the stakeholders, the approach is also based on shared governance, and a better price for the farmers.
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hal-04196619 , version 1 (05-09-2023)



Vincent Thenard, Sébastien S. Couvreur, Laurence Fortun-Lamothe, Bertrand Meda, Timothée Petit. Product quality as a lever to change farming practices to meet society’s expectations. 74th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science, EAAP, Aug 2023, Lyon, France. pp.548, ⟨10.3920/978-90-8686-936-7⟩. ⟨hal-04196619⟩
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