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The potential for special livestock breeds to deliver higher value added products - FO0309

Description
The UK’s Farm Animal Genetic Resources (FAnGR), including the breeds and strains and the variability within them, are of great economic, social and cultural importance. The food and drink industry is the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, of which the production, processing and preservation of meat and meat products represent 19% of the total. The success of the livestock sector depends heavily on the performance and capabilities of our livestock breeds and strains to deliver the industry’s raw materials. Therefore our FAnGR have a crucial role at the very start of the food chain and there are strong economic arguments for ensuring that we manage these resources in a sustainable way. Livestock farming and the associated food industries also fulfil an important social role, and in many areas livestock farming underpins the economic activity on which whole communities depend. The Government's Regional Food Strategy (RFS) links together a number of national and regional initiatives and aims to develop the quality regional food sector in the UK, thereby contributing to a more vibrant rural economy.

The Defra Strategy for Sustainable Farming and Food sets out how industry, Government and consumers can work together to secure a sustainable future for farming and food industries, as viable industries contributing to a better environment and healthy and prosperous communities. The England Rural Development Programme is a related policy that helps farmers respond better to consumer requirements and become more competitive, diverse, flexible and environmentally responsible, and also provides help to rural businesses and communities that need to adapt and develop. The UK’s native non-mainstream breeds could enable markets to develop higher value added products that are locally produced and consumed. The potential of these native non-mainstream livestock breeds (beef, sheep, pigs and broilers) therefore need to be investigated. In addition, the future opportunities for value added products need to be assessed.

This proposed study will review the status of ‘special breeds’ of meat-producing livestock in the UK, to examine their existing and future potential to deliver higher value added food products to the UK consumer, and to identify barriers and gaps in knowledge to achieve long term sustainability.
Objective
Overall objective:
To review the status of ‘special breeds’ of meat-producing livestock in the UK, to examine their existing and future potential to deliver higher value added food products to the UK consumer, and to identify barriers and gaps in knowledge to achieve long term sustainability.

Sub-Objectives:

1. Literature review – to review relevant literature to provide statement on the current state of special livestock breeds (availability and location) and the associated meat product market. The review will identify the wider characteristics of the value added sector (market trends, barriers to market entry and key requirements) and give examples of existing initiatives.
2. Case studies – to detail the meat supply chain for selected case studies utilising special breeds to develop an understanding of critical success factors, research gaps and future support needs.
3. Consultation with stakeholders – to identify market opportunities for existing and new special breed products through consultation with key influencers and support organisations, notably retailers, regional food groups and breed societies.
4. Future programmes – to recommend how identified opportunities can be better facilitated by future Defra and other government department supported programmes in a way that will conserve livestock genetic resources and provide a sustainable food supply chain.

Project Documents
• Final Report : The potential for special livestock breeds to deliver higher value added products   (840k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2007

To: 2007

Cost: £50,240
Contractor / Funded Organisations
ADAS UK Ltd.
Keywords
Agriculture and Food Chain              
Animal Production              
Environmental Performance              
Food and Drink              
Food Chain              
Food manufacturing industry              
Livestock Farming              
Rare Breeds              
Sustainable Farming and Food Science              
Fields of Study
Resource Efficient and Resilient Food Chain