New European meat association to be founded
Rabbit producers in the EU may soon have an association to represent them before the European institutions. Spain is working hard, through its professional association INTERCUN, to gather similar bodies from Portugal, Poland, Italy, Belgium, France, Germany and the Czech Republic in one single association named ERA (the European Rabbit Association).
These days a new meeting between the parties is organized in Madrid and all participants hope to define a line of joint action based on common elements of the productive structure and organization, always seeking to consolidate the future of this sector in the EU. The association will have three basic functions:
Exchange information between its members.
Respond to the different problems of the sector with a single voice.
Establish a common position.
In this sense, it is expected that the European Commission will present a proposal in the coming months to review the regulations on animal welfare, within the framework of the “from farm to table” strategy. In this context and in any other, ERA is expected to participate defending the interests of the European rabbit sector, according to Cdecomuniccacion website.
In the opinion of ERA, these are the main strengths of rabbit meat production:
Despite being a sector of low economic volume, the most distinctive characteristic of the rabbit sector is that it generates value from scarce resources. These are farms that adapt small economies to the territory.
The farms can settle in very unpopulated and disadvantaged areas, contributing to rural development in very vulnerable geographical points. It is estimated that the employment generated could be around 3,000 jobs in Spain only.
The rabbit farming sector is the one with the youngest workers (of all farmers) (average in Spain 46 years, compared to an average of 55 years in livestock and 62 years in the agricultural total).
Half of the employment generated in the sector is female; thus, it is the livestock sector with the highest proportion of female employment (more than 45%).
The rabbit farming sector has few public aids and subsidies, one of the lowest among all the livestock-meat sectors (only 33% of farms receive aid and the average aid in 2019 was €6,150/farm).
It is a livestock sector in which livestock feed is very independent of international imports.
Water and energy consumption, as well as the environmental impact of the rabbit farming sector, is very low.