Sustainable Livestock Production
The livelihoods of half the 768 million people living in poverty worldwide depend directly on livestock. It provides 14% of the total calories and 33% of the protein in people’s diet at global level.
Growing populations and incomes, along with changes in food consumption patterns, are rapidly increasing the demand for livestock products. Global production of meat is projected to more than double from 229 million tonnes in 1999 to 465 million tonnes in 2050.
Livestock is by far the single largest anthropogenic user of land, with up to 26% of terrestrial areas dedicated to rangelands and about 33% of croplands dedicated to fodder production. Expansion of livestock production is a key driver of deforestation, and the sector also uses a large amount of water for production and contributes to water pollution through discharge of wastes, especially surpluses of nitrogen and phosphorus. Additionally, livestock make a significant contribution to climate change, as the sector is responsible for 14.5% of human-induced GHG emissions.
SAN understands that the positive or negative impact of livestock over the environment depends directly on the production intensity, the specific production practices, the species bred, and the local ecological condition.
SAN’s approach to the sustainability of livestock relies on practices that:
- Improve productivity and input use by implementing a multi-level system for feed resources and an associated management plan.
- Minimize potential negative impacts on natural resources by prohibiting the destruction of natural ecosystems, optimizing water and land use, and treating of residual waters.
- Reduce GHG emissions and improve the systems’ capacity as carbon sinks.
- Ensure animal welfare, meaning that animals are healthy, comfortable, well-fed, safe, can behave naturally, and are not subject to pain, fear and stress.
- Minimize food safety risks through sanitary protocols and animal health monitoring.
- Implement mechanisms for the verification of the animal’s origin and breeding process throughout the supply chain.