It created “Pré de chez nous”, the label that combines sustainability and animal welfare

BAnimal welfare, greenhouse gas emissions… At a time when livestock farming is not spared social criticism, the creation of the “Pré de chez nous” label is a breath of fresh air for the industry, which aims to offer local, sustainable beef.

“A few years ago, Pierre Mailleux (Sobemax) and I sat at a table with the Dumoulin company to project ourselves into a socially responsible beef production of the future. And the future starts today! Thanks to the feed manufacturer’s new feed concept, we were able to focus on sustainability and support the climate. In the long term, it’s also about preventing the various stresses that will soon weigh on breeding,” explains Bernhard Gotta, master swivel maker.

While many breeders are interested in incorporating the label, only five are currently involved. “The label has only just started and will be able to open up to new members step by step, depending on the growing demand from butchers. I’m sure many will join us. We offer Belgian Blaubelgische bulls and cows of the highest quality. Our butcher customers who come to the seal presentation are very interested in offering meat that meets their customers’ demands for quality, sustainability and animal welfare. “Pré de chez nous” is a good means of communication for them,” continues the Pinner.

Up to 30% less methane emissions

The newly launched label proves that innovation also affects food. In fact, with its Euroclim food concept, Dumoulin reduces the carbon footprint of meat by up to 21%. The feed is 100% vegetable, with a high omega-3 content thanks to its extruded flaxseeds, which reduce methane emissions during digestion by up to 30%. Such a composition gives the meat a red and slightly marbled color and therefore a very special taste.

The composition of the ration gives the meat a red and slightly marbled color and therefore a very special taste. -PL

In addition, all raw materials are exclusively European (mainly Belgium, France, Germany). In addition to the feed, the rations are balanced with recycled materials from the food industry that only the ruminant can utilize. Around 80% of the ration consists of products that cannot be used by humans. It should also be noted that genetically modified foods are exempt from the requirements.

The Euroclim feed range reduces the carbon footprint of meat by up to 21%.
The Euroclim feed range reduces the carbon footprint of meat by up to 21%. -PL

Go beyond the norm

Animal welfare is not neglected, because the specifications of the industry want to go beyond the market standard. This book obliges breeders to let their animals graze for at least six months a year with a feeding period of 100 days. In addition, laying brushes is very appreciated by the animals, which can rub each other at will… Finally, particular attention is paid to the space, light and ventilation of the buildings.

This label is intended to supply the short-circuit, which in turn enables a limitation of the CO2 emissions caused by transport, among other things.

For breeders, joining the sector also adds value to their livestock as they are better compensation is provided.

The “Pré de chez nous” requirements do more for animal welfare than the norm. -PL

A unanimously welcomed initiative

For David Clarinval, Federal Minister of Agriculture, it is necessary to support the initiative, which succeeds in reconciling the three pillars of sustainability: economic, social and environmental. The project is economically promising as it generates profitability for all players in the industry. In addition, it is socially and community acceptable as it goes beyond the animal welfare standards that are the Belbeef specifications today, while also producing meat from locally sourced ingredients. Finally, it is also an environmentally friendly project in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

From the point of view of the cabinet of climate minister Philippe Henry, the initiative is welcomed:

– for his desire to break out of our farms’ still significant dependence on ‘overseas’ food;

– to reduce the CO2 emissions of products,

– for efforts to achieve a better balance between food and feed, between the products that must be used primarily for human consumption and those that are most valued by ruminants. This strengthened balance is one of the cornerstones for the future of our entire agri-food system.

The company is also very interested in the process of continuous food improvement, such as B. switching from flaxseed to more canola and soybeans. “We know that the economic and technical constraints are numerous and that the transition will take time. It seems likely that research may enable an ever-increasing shift in animal feed. We can therefore see how this label fits into the Walloon region’s ecological and climatic transition towards a zero-carbon horizon in 2050.

For Benoît Cassart, General Secretary of the Union of Livestock and Meat Traders, the initiative is helping to restore the image of Walloon breeders. “One should not think that the breeding sector in Belgium does not take environmental aspects into account. In view of the international conflicts and their impact on the markets, livestock farming plays a very important role today. Your care is therefore essential! »

“Furthermore, the duality between organic and conventional production makes no sense, since sustainable agriculture plays a card to preserve our climate. »

His conclusion: “Even if the labels have been around for decades, what is innovative today is the integration of the environmental aspect, a major concern of today’s society. »

Interview by PL


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