At COP 28, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) released “Achieving SDG2 without breaching the 1.5C threshold A Global Roadmap 2023 Part 1”.
There is a lot to untangle in that title. In brief, the report is a high level plan to realizing food security and sustainability in our food systems. While we encourage everyone to read the entire report, the highlights from our perspective are:
The report confirms the value of, and continued need for, livestock in our food system:
“Livestock plays a vital economic role, supporting the livelihoods of approximately 1.7 billion poor people, with 70 percent of the sector’s workforce comprising women. Livestock serves as a crucial source of high-quality protein and essential micronutrients, and is vital for normal development and good health, especially within vulnerable or remote communities.”
A refreshing change from the naive “lets eat bugs and plants” solution usually put forward. Formal recognition of a permanent role for livestock is significant, particularly in a context where “transitioning away from fossil fuels in energy systems” was included in the final COP28 statement, and will help the industry secure the resources, investment, and focus it is going to need.
In regards to the nine action items identified that address livestock:
There is a huge challenge before the Canadian livestock industry to develop, prove in the field, and make broad application of, the technologies and practices necessary to realize these aggressive goals. But the technology is the easy part. Far more challenging will be engaging livestock producers in these issues and building the partnerships that will develop and deliver the processes and solutions that minimize cost, and maximum net incentive, so that Canada’s livestock producers will mobilize. The livestock industry will need companies like Flokk that can deliver sophisticated technology and process solutions, but also hold the culture, and hands on experience in ranching, necessary to listen to, engage with, and earn the trust of, cow/calf ranchers.