The World Wild Fund for Nature (WWF) Beijing Office, in collaboration with the China Meat Association (CMA), jointly announced the launch of the “China Sustainable Meat Supply Chain Promotion Plan” at the 2023 China Meat Sustainable Development Summit. By covering issues such as forest and land conversion and GHG emissions, responding to relevant policies and regulations, and providing tools and standards, the plan will represent another milestone in the sustainable development of China’s meat industry.
The “China Sustainable Meat Supply Chain Promotion Plan” resulted from years of project cooperation between WWF and CMA. In 2017, the partners launched the “China Sustainable Meat Declaration” with 64 companies, followed by the release of the “Specification for Meat Industry Green Trade” in 2021, which became the world’s first green trade specification. A pilot project to guide companies in sustainable supply chain transformation followed, laying a solid foundation for the recent launch of the “China Sustainable Meat Supply Chain Promotion Plan.”
Zhou Fei, chief program officer of WWF Beijing Office, emphasized that climate change, biodiversity conservation, and sustainable production of meat products are closely related. The balance between environmental protection and economic development is among the world’s most prevalent issues. WWF wants more partners in the meat industry to join the plan and work towards a carbon-neutral and nature-positive future.
At the 2023 China Meat Sustainable Development Summit, representatives from enterprises, industry associations, research institutions, experts, and academics related to the meat industry conducted in-depth discussions on launching the “China Sustainable Meat Supply Chain Promotion Plan.” Participants shared expectations of the plan to promote the sustainable development of China’s meat industry. They agreed that companies could gradually become a viable force for the forest, land, and agriculture sectors to move towards DCF and low-carbon development by continuously improving their ESG management, establishing and achieving carbon reduction goals, and managing responsible sourcing.
Currently, 22 percent of the net greenhouse gas emissions caused by global human activities come from forests, land, and agricultural systems (FLAG). Agricultural expansion is one of the crucial reasons for land use change, becoming a critical factor in the natural habitat loss of many animal and plant species on land, freshwater, and oceans. Specifically, the three global commodities, beef, palm oil, and soybeans, are the main drivers of deforestation and land conversion and the leading carbon emitter of the food system. Therefore, the meat industry must unleash its emission reduction and green development potential. To this end, countries worldwide are actively researching and promoting policies to develop nature-positive agricultural supply chains.
Article photo provided by WWF.