Beef production generates greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions accounting for six per cent of all human-induced emissions. Nevertheless, studies reveal that knowledge gaps exist among beef farmers about the use of innovative practices to reduce GHG emissions. Beef production can also regulate climate through carbon storage in grassland. This dual role confers to livestock farming an important responsibility in the fight against climate change. France, Ireland, Italy and Spain represent 32% of the EU cattle population and a large diversity of livestock production systems.
The LIFE BEEF CARBON project aims to promote innovative livestock farming systems and associated practices to ensure the technical, economic, environmental and social sustainability of beef farms. Project partners will raise awareness among beef production actors and encourage their commitment to improving environmental performance. This will be achieved by:
Investigations will not only include climate change mitigation in relation to GHG emissions and carbon storage, but also eco-systemic services and other environmental impacts of livestock farming and socio-economic issues. The project aims to meet its objectives through calculation tools to assess 2 000 demonstration beef farms using different production systems, to evaluate GHG emissions and beef carbon footprints. Decision-making tools will be used by farmers and advisors at farm level, a European database will be used to produce technical and environmental results from beef demonstration farms, and a carbon mitigation plan will be applied and evaluated in 172 innovative beef farms.