Industry organisations in the European Union, including the leather industry’s representative, COTANCE, have joined forces to set up a new multi-stakeholder group called European Livestock Voice, reports Leatherbiz.
It issued a statement on March 5 in response to what it called a “push for synthetic, lab-grown meat from different opinion leaders”.
It said in the statement that “opinion leaders” who promote synthetic meat seem to think that the debate within the scientific community would unequivocally support an end to livestock breeding. But it said the broader corpus of academic research “clearly contradicts” this.
European Livestock Voice went on to point out that the livestock sector was achieving reductions in carbon emissions year after year. It said that, although European agriculture had increased production by 25% since 1990, it had reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 20% over the same period.
Further points it made in the statement were that a shift to synthetic meat would lead to Europe losing “a circular bio-economy champion” and that depopulation in rural areas would accelerate.
It made the point that by-products from livestock would need to be replaced by substitutes with a high environmental, economic and social cost. It said leather was a good example of this because it would need to be replaced by, mostly, fossil fuels-based products.