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Pigs and the Environment

A report prepared for BPEX which looks at how it can work to enhance the environmental sustainability of pork production.

Year of Publication2009

BPEX commissioned this report as part of its approach to environmental and social sustainability.  BPEX is interested in the views of a wide range of interested groups and therefore commissioned Here Tomorrow to conduct a critical appraisal of the English pig industry and asked it to make recommendations on what BPEX should do in the future. This Report is the result of that approach and reflects the opinions of the author.AbstractLike all economic activity, pork production and consumption causes environmental impacts; these are primarily climate change, air pollution, water pollution and loss of biodiversity. These impacts tend to be lower for pork products than for beef and lamb, but higher than for poultry and almost all non-meat sources of protein and fat. BPEX should continue and expand its efforts to enhance the environmental sustainability of the pork system by: focusing less on maximising production as an end in itself, and more on assuring that pork production and consumption is met sustainably from domestic production; developing, with Defra, a Pork Roadmap, similar to those for dairy and (soon) beef; and further expanding research on environmental impacts other than greenhouse gas emissions, to include water resources, biodiversity, acidification, eutrophication, abiotic resource use, and waste. BPEX should further develop expertise and advice to help farmers measure and reduce their environmental impacts, processors and retailers to improve eco-efficiency, consumers to choose, store, cook and dispose of pork products and packaging more sustainably, and regulators to deliver the right framework. A broader engagement with consumers, retailers and policy makers will also be required, since the complex trade-offs between needs, values and impacts must be guided almost as much by human values as by ecological limits.

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Organisation Logo for BPEX

Representing pig levy payers in England.

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