SPAIN

The pig sector is a key agent in providing nutrients to a balanced diet

Pork

"The global pork sector is key due to its providing nutrients to a balanced diet, and the fight against malnutrition; but also because it provides a means of subsistence to millions of families, and is especially important for low-income countries, and for women and young people".

Posted on Dec 19 ,00:15

The pig sector is a key agent in providing nutrients to a balanced diet

This is one of the main conclusions of 'Sustainable and resilient food systems', the third of the Dialogues organized within the framework of the UN Food Systems Summit by the Interprofessional of the White Coated Pork (INTERPORC), an organization that It is already working on 14 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

More than 50 experts in livestock and swine industry, veterinarians, students and professionals linked to food systems, as well as representatives of civil society and consumers, participated in the meeting.

All of them, moderated by the Dialogue facilitators, debated and generated proposals and conclusions that will now be transferred to the UN. Specifically, the topics addressed were 'Environmental sustainability', moderated by Manuel Esteve, president of the white-coated pork sector of Agri-Food Cooperatives of Spain; 'Animal welfare', moderated by Arturo Hernangómez, ANPROGAPOR technician; 'Economic and social sustainability', moderated by Daniel de Miguel, International Director of INTERPORC; 'Nutrition and sustainable diets in human nutrition', moderated by Giuseppe Aloisio, deputy director of ANICE; and 'Communication', moderated by Jordi Martí, head of the communication area of FECIC.

The high participation of all attendees allowed us to draw a broad list of conclusions and recommendations that will facilitate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and compliance with the 2030 Agenda.

Alberto Herranz, director of INTERPORC and administrator in the development of the Dialogue, highlighted its usefulness since "all of us present occupy different positions in the chain and this allows us to extract a very accurate worldview of the current situation and how to advance throughout the planet towards “sustainable and resilient food systems".

Furthermore, he recalled that "we want to value the contribution of the pork sector to food systems, since we are an indispensable element of them and our work is crucial to achieving SDG number 2: Zero Hunger".

The Dialogue also featured four high-level interventions. Before the debates, Juan Prieto, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and Deputy Representative of Spain to the FAO, reminded all participants that "although it may seem that Brussels, Parliament or the UN are very far away, the truth is that their Policies affect the global and the local. That is to say, political decisions are not far from the decisions made by consumers, and that is why they must be as appropriate as possible".

For his part, Javier Sierra, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of the Permanent Mission of Spain to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva, referred to that "the only sustainable prosperity is shared prosperity. To achieve this food sovereignty we need to establish more sustainable food systems that allow access to nutritious and cheap proteins".

Once the debates were concluded, Samuel Juárez, Advisory member of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and Convener of the National Dialogues of Spain at the UN Food Systems Summit, contextualized by pointing out that "the war in Ukraine brought to the table the need to produce to feed the population. The pork sector, which is fundamental for Spain, must assume its responsibility to continue creating wealth and food. That requires a broad vision of the sector and carrying out actions like this Dialogue, for which I congratulate you".

Finally, Esperanza Orellana, general director of Agricultural Productions and Markets of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, explained that "no one doubts the need to transform food systems so that they are resilient and sustainable, but it is more of a transition because already "There has been a lot of progress on this issue". And, in that sense, she referred to the Spanish pork sector stating that "I fully trust its capacity for joint sectoral response to the sustainability challenges posed by society".

In the debates it was very clear that the pork sector has a lot to contribute in the transformation of global agri-food systems towards more resilient systems that respond to the future nutritional needs of the planet.

Specifically, the participants explained that the triple economic, social and environmental sustainability of the pork sector generates a very positive impact in the areas in which it is present, which is why it must continue to be strengthened through the introduction of constant improvements that allow progress towards more sustainable productions.

In that sense, they demanded institutional support, both regulatory and economic, and the defense of the sector against accusations about the environmental impact of pork that "do not correspond to the reality of the official data" collected by public administrations.

Regarding animal welfare, they vindicated the work carried out by livestock farmers to guarantee it and pointed out the need for "the approach of policies focused on this issue to be global and scientifically justified", as opposed to particular opinions that are not based on science.

Nutrition focused part of the debate, as it was recalled that science recognizes pork as "a source of protein of high biological value and, above all, accessible.” These characteristics, together with a modern sector that is a “guarantee of quality, food safety, animal welfare and traceability", make pork products key pieces in the fight against malnutrition and the construction of sustainable and resilient food systems.

In this direction, among the conclusions, they highlighted that "it is essential to transform the configuration of the sector's value chain towards an even more competitive and resilient model, in order to guarantee food sovereignty not only European, but also global".

The conclusions of the Dialogue also demonstrated that “communication is fundamental and must be the main ally to show the truth of current pig farming to society and inform about everything that the sector already does in terms of animal welfare, sustainability, food safety and innovation.”

The work carried out by farmers, ranchers, industrialists and other professionals in the pork chain has great value, as demonstrated by both science and official data from the administrations. Therefore, it is necessary to make it visible since it is essential to “provide sustainable and resilient food systems.” Communication must be the tool that clears up for society all the doubts that exist due to lack of knowledge about the activity of pig farming.

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