The demonstrators from around Europe demanded sustainable agriculture and good food for all, calling for environmentally friendly farming as well as a fair global agricultural policy.

The demonstrators were also calling for access to land and the promotion of regional food production. They also criticized a Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement currently negotiated with the U.S.

World Globe

German agricultural authorities also report that farms are being affected badly across the world due to globalization of the world’s food production and international trade. They say that in Germany alone, 10,000 farms are shut down every year.

This call for action came as 72 agriculture ministers from around the world were meeting for the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) during the German Green Week.

The ministers agreed that attention needs to be given to family-owned farms and small-holders because of their important role in feeding the global population.


“We agree that our core task is to develop an efficient, adaptable and resilient agricultural sector which builds on three fundamental and equal pillars: diversity, sustainability and productivity,” the ministers’ statement said.

They said that by conserving and using diversity, the efficiency, adaptability and resilience of agriculture is enhanced – and they lay the foundation for producing a diverse range of foods, and consequently contribute towards securing an adequate supply of sufficient, safe and nutritious food.



The Association of Brazilian Meat Export Industries (ABIEC) has reported expectations that 2014 beef sales will beat poultry earnings, reaching $8 billion, while pork should rebound gradually after a poor year.

Beef income backed by predictions of an expensive dollar to the real (Brazil’s national currency), will increase 20 percent on 2013, ABIEC predicts

Also important to increasing beef-derived income is the reopening of markets in Saudi Arabia and China after the atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (aBSE) case late last year in the state of Parana.

Further opportunities may result from diplomatic tensions between Indonesia and Australia as
Indonesia looks to alternative beef providers.

Similarly, Brazilian beef exporters hope to enter the Myanmar and Thailand markets – and advancing trade negotiations with the U.S. are buoying the industry.



India’s livestock population is forecast to reach 312 million by 2015, leading to likely shortage of feed and fodder.

The total livestock population in India is currently about 280 million, indicates a comprehensive analysis of the livestock industry.

There are about 170 million cattle, over 80 million buffalo, 11 million goats and over five million sheep in India.

“Rapidly growing human population has resulted in an upward spiraling trend in demand and consumption of milk products, meat, eggs, skin, leather and wool, not just in India but globally,” says D.S. Rawat, an Indian agricultural economist.

“Looking at this enormous demand for livestock products, there is an urgent need to improve health and productivity of farm animals, and steps must be taken to improve the quality of fodder and feed,” Rawat adds.

India is facing a huge shortage of feed and fodder for livestock production, mainly due to overgrazing in the limited area under fodder crops, poor availability of good-quality fodder varieties – green fodder, dry crop residue, feeds, dry fodder, agricultural byproducts and others.

In addition, a lack of quality seeds of improved varieties and hybrids is also a significant issue in this regard.

Rawat says animal diseases due to lack of health and hygiene maintenance are also affecting the production potential of livestock.


New Zealand

A report released recently by the Federated Farmers of New Zealand says that while the meat processing sector is a key contributor to the New Zealand economy and has progressed considerably since the 1980s, it is still fragmented.

The report looks at three options to refocus the way the red meat sector is structured in New Zealand – either through a behavior focus, processor focus or a marketing focus.

Federated Farmers say that if red meat producers were to communicate with processing companies and commit supply, so that processing companies had a reasonable indication of the volumes and timing of livestock, this could help shift the focus of the meat processing industry.

The report also suggests that the leading global meat processor, JBS, could be the most likely company to step in given its acquisitive nature and the way that it has become a major player in neighboring Australia.

“JBS has successfully entered the U.S. and Australian markets and become a big player. What is stopping them from doing the same in New Zealand?” the report says.

“They could bring with them the economies of scale and efficiencies, as well as the institutional knowledge and customers they have developed from their role as the world’s largest meat company and their operations in Brazil, the U.S. and Australia.”

The final option that Federated Farmers has thrown into the discussion is to have all New Zealand red meat sold through a single desk seller to eliminate price positioning between New Zealand companies in international markets.

“It would also provide critical mass which assists in developing leverage and bargaining power in the market,” Federated Farmers says.  end mark

Clint Peck is former director of Montana’s Beef Quality Assurance program.