UK beef farming expertise in grass-fed diets will be shared with European livestock producers as part of a five-year project.
Researchers at a number of UK institutes and organisations – including the University of Reading, Royal Agricultural University and the Pasture-Fed Livestock Association – have been awarded almost £1 million funding as part of the Pathways project.
The 9m euros (£7.7m) project, which forms part of the European Commission’s Farm to Fork Strategy, aims to help policymakers understand how practices such as 100% grass-fed diets and mobile abattoirs can be adopted.
“As the world increasingly recognises that significant changes need to take place to address the climate crisis, the agricultural sector and consumer behaviour has an important role to play,” said Dr Laurence Smith, lecturer in agricultural business management at the University of Reading.
“Beef and dairy can play an important role in getting us to a net-zero lifestyle by recognising and championing practices such as grass-fed diets.”
He said the UK agriculture sector was in an ideal position to help the rest of Europe and the world put into practice more sustainable beef farming.
“We have some of the most passionate and focused advocates for grass-fed farming, which has a myriad of potential benefits not only for reducing emissions but also improving soil health, improving animal welfare and reducing food miles,” added Dr Smith.
Pasture-Fed Livestock Association research associate, Nikki Yoxall, said the association was delighted to be involved with the project.
She said: “As the home of grass-fed, we are at the cutting edge of new grazing management techniques and are confident that involvement in Pathways will increase our capacity to act as a platform for regenerative farmers to learn and succeed, providing support for farmers transitioning to more sustainable production methods.”