WP2.2 Evaluation of current beef farming system

WP2.2 Evaluation of current beef farming system

The objective of SustainBeef is to identify production methods that reduce food competition in beef production systems while estimating their impacts on the overall sustainability of the farm through bioeconomic simulations. Many methods for assessing farm sustainability already exist, such as IDEA (Vilain, 2008), TREE (Pervanchon, 2004) or DIAMOND (Litt et al., 2012). However, these are not adapted to the data from the simulations and do not integrate indicators dealing with food security or more specifically with feed/food competition. Indeed, there is no consensus around this type of indicator, which is emerging in the literature and is not yet widely applied (Laisse et al., 2019; Wilkinson, 2011).

The objective is to establish a method for assessing the sustainability of European beef systems based on different criteria, including feed/food competition, and adapted to available data from bioeconomic simulations.

This assessment method  is presented in detail in Deliverable 2.2. Part of this assessment method was also applied to assess the contribution of the 16 European case studies to food security (see the article on this webpage and the preprint of the published scientific paper). It was also used as a starting point to developp sustainability metrics for the FarmDyn model in WP3.

In this folder

The purpose of the evaluation is to test the effectiveness of innovations in reducing feed/food competition while maintaining the sustainability of beef production systems. The method should be applicable to the farm types analyzed in SustainBeef. These farm types include: specialized breeders, specialized fatteners, fattening breeders, dairy systems with or without fattening of dairy calves, mixed dairy-suckler cow systems as well as mix crop-livestock systems in the socio-economic, soil and climatic contexts in the countries of the project partners.The scale of the assessment chosen is the farm as a whole. However, this scale can be adjusted according to the indicators in order to remain relevant. Indeed, the farm's inputs and outputs are taken into consideration. However, for some indicators, it will be more relevant to work at animal production unit scale. In this specific case, all feed consumed by the animals will be taken into consideration, whether purchased or produced on the farm. This article presents the evaluation tree. Further detailed could be found in the deliverable 2.2 and in the scientific paper about the contribution of beef systems to food security.
The objectives of this paper are to propose an evaluation of the contribution to food security of different European cattle farms through three criteria: 1) food production assessed by the amount of human-edible protein (HEP) and energy (HEE) produced at farm level, 2) feed-food competition at the beef production scale estimated in terms of net human-edible protein and energy and in terms of land used, and 3) food affordability assessed by the production cost of meat, protein and energy. The analysis is based on 16 representative beef production systems in France, Belgium, Ireland, Italy and Germany and covers cow-calf systems, finishing systems, dairy and mixed dairy- finishing systems, with or without cash crops.

Modification date : 23 May 2023 | Publication date : 16 September 2021 | Redactor : CM