We should always be vigilant, but not alarmist. Safety controls in Italy are strict – and they work.
We can all rest assured: the controls on raw and cured meat in Italy have been found to comply with legal requirements in more than 99.9% of cases, both in terms of traceability and transparency. All the checks built into the production chain have been given the thumbs up too.
This statistic is the result of the combined efforts of around 4,500 public vets and the internal quality controls and safety tests imposed by producers of Italian meat.
The findings were presented at the end of 2014 by Assocarni, ASS.I.CA. and UnaItalia (responsible for the three livestock sectors of beef, pork and poultry), during the Cibus Tec Meat Day. This conference, held at the ExpoGate in Milan brought together Life Cycle Engineering, the Research Centre for Sustainable Development (Opera-UCSC), journalists and teachers from the State University of Milan.
At the same meeting, the Environmental Hourglass was unveiled – a method to calculate the carbon footprint of food and measure its impact on environmental sustainability.
Using the “food pyramid” as a benchmark, the Hourglass shows that the environmental impact of animal protein production is only slightly higher (7.5 kg CO2) than that of fruit and vegetables (6.7 kg CO2 ), which should be consumed in greater quantities, according to the proportions specified in the food pyramid. In terms of food waste, meat production actually proves to be one of the most efficient sectors in Italy (14%, compared to 0.31% for cereals and 4.67% for fruit and vegetables). Italian meat production can act as a model for other sectors, in order to ensure the economic and environmental sustainability of the industry, even with a potential 60% increase in demand for protein by the world’s population by 2050.
In terms of transparency as well as guarantees of the excellence of their products, meat producers have shown a commitment to environmental protection and the development of the economy, as well as society. They are looking for a joined-up approach to nutrition, the environment and business, thereby creating an innovative model for Italian production in this Expo year.