ARLINGTON, VA. – In its just-released 2022 Sustainability Impact Report, the Animal Agriculture Alliance summarizes how farmers and ranchers in the United States continue to address sustainability issues that are priorities for consumers, including antibiotic use, animal welfare, environmental impact, nutrition and food safety.
In an era when the truth about the environmental impact of meat, dairy and egg production often is clouded by the agendas of activist groups, the report features some the long-term progress that has been made by producers and some of their goals for the future.
For example, the efficiency of pork production practices in 1960 compared to 2015 is evident in the amount of land used (76% less in 2015), water used (25% less) and energy used (7% less), all while decreasing the carbon footprint by nearly 8%. Likewise, between 1961 and 2018, the beef industry’s greenhouse gas emissions per pound of beef have decreased by more than 40% while producing 66% more beef per animal.
Looking ahead, the alliance’s report highlighted the beef industry’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2040 while pork industry stakeholders have committed to cutting GHG emissions by 40% by 2030. The dairy industry has committed to becoming GHG neutral by 2050.
The report goes on to highlight the often-overlooked nutritional attributes of meat, poultry, eggs and milk, and provides details on how today’s ranchers and farmers have raised the bar of modern environmental stewardship.
US farmers and ranchers continue making commitments to accomplish the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals and ranchers and farmers from multiple agricultural sectors have joined the North American Meat Institute’s Protein PACT, which endeavors to build trust through a commitment to continuous improvement that demonstrates shared values with consumers, customers and investors.
“Farming and ranching provide the food, fuel and fiber that millions of families around the world depend on,” said Hannah Thompson-Weeman, the Animal Agricultural Alliance’s vice president of strategic engagement and incoming president and chief executive officer. “The Sustainability Impact Report clearly demonstrates the unique nutrition and food security benefits of meat, milk, poultry, and eggs and the success of efforts to continuously improve animal agriculture’s contributions to a healthy environment.”