The European Poultry Meat sector commits to develop a Sustainability Charter
During the General Assembly of AVEC – The European Poultry Meat Association – members committed to develop a Sustainability Charter which will be published at the beginning of 2022.
150 representatives from the European Poultry Meat Sector met on September 10 2021 in Berlin, where the German member of AVEC, BVG – Bundesverband der Geflügelschlachtereien e.V. -hosted the 63rd AVEC General Assembly.
The debates focused on the sustainability of the sector, in the context of the Green Deal and EU Farm to fork strategy, with a lively exchange between first-class speakers from both authorities and academia.
The General Assembly concluded with a major announcement, as AVEC’s President, Paul Lopez, presented the so-called “Berlin Declaration” in which the European poultry meat sector commits to develop a “Sustainability Charter” to be published at the start of 2022. Through this commitment, AVEC intends to demonstrate that European Poultry Meat is part of the solution in the fight against climate change by developing concrete solutions to improve the sustainability of the sector. The sector aims at finding a balance between the 3 pillars – Environment, Social and Economy to establish true sustainability.
AVEC’s Secretary-General, Birthe Steenberg, made clear that “the level of commitment of the EU poultry meat sector is highly dependent on the willingness and capacity of the EU Commission to defend the sector from unfair competition from third countries. It is of huge importance that the efforts implemented in EU poultry meat sector – which will raise the production costs – are not met with a counter effect of larger imports of poultry meat from third countries. We produce meat in a very climate-smart way in Europe – so importing more meat from third countries will, in the end, lead to higher GHG emissions globally.” The launch of this sustainability charter is an unprecedented effort from the sector to respond to society’s concerns on sustainability and highlights the high level of responsibility from the sector to face the upcoming challenge of climate change.
The poultry meat sector is a strategic asset in the EU food system, with a total production value of € 38 billion, with exports worth more than € 2 billion a year, and provides direct employment to more than 370,000 people. In Europe, conventional poultry meat production represents 80% of the market. Using highly efficient production processes, only a minimal amount of natural resources is needed to generate a protein source of great value to the human diet.
The 63rd AVEC General Assembly was also an opportunity to say a huge thank you to Vice President and former President of AVEC Paul-Heinz Wesjohann from the German PHW Group. Mr. Wesjohann who has dedicated a lot of work through the decades to fight for the best framework for the European Poultry Meat Sector retired from the AVEC Board. He received a standing ovation as current AVEC President Paul Lopez informed participants that Mr. Wesjohann was the first Honorary President of AVEC.
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