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Promoting a sustainable livestock sector in Europe



ATF-EAAP special session - Belfast, UK - August 29th, 2016

Animal production, the Key in a European sustainable circular Bioeconomy


With an increasing global population and consequently, food demand, the livestock sector represents a key actor to address the challenge of global food and nutrition security. Animal productions can contribute efficiently to the Bioeconomy for a sustainable food-chain, providing multiple benefits.

However, the sector is strongly questioned for its environmental impacts, inefficient use of resources, animal health and welfare and supposedly human health issues linked to the consumption of animal product… “Is it wise to reduce our consumption of animal products in Europe from the point of view of sustainability? Can we easily replace protein of animal origin by protein of plant origin?”

During the year 2016, the Animal Task Force would like to engage a dialogue between research, farmers, industry, decision makers and stakeholders to provide input for public policies on Livestock’s role in realising a Sustainable Bioeconomy for Europe , and to share on avenues for improvement and research needs.


The Special Session aims to contribute to the understanding of the way animal productions can contribute more effectively to the European Bioeconomy for a sustainable food-chain.

Objectives of the Special Session:

  • Give insight into the role of livestock in realising a Sustainable Bioeconomy for Europe
  • Engage a dialogue between research, farmers, industry, decision makers and stakeholders
  • Share on avenues for improvement 
  • Provide input for public policies 
  • Address how research leads to the development of animal productions’s contribution in the bioecoomy. 


Future and present farming systems need to be (re)designed, discussed with society, integrated in a regional and economic context and give social and ethical value to the people working with and in these systems and to the individual animals living in these systems.

Animal productions can contribute effectively to the Bioeconomy for a sustainable food-chain, providing multiple benefits that are being developed in a scientific paper presented by ATF, including:

  • providing protein-rich and safe food for humans together with several essential micro nutrients not found in product of plant origin, 
  • regulating the ecological cycles by recycling biomass from humanly inedible resources, maintaining grassland acreage and using manure as a bio-resource, 
  • contributing to a more efficient agriculture by valorising food-chain by-products thanks to efficient and robust animals adapted to new European feed sources and maintaining soil organic matter content and fertility,
  • providing renewable energy such as biogas from manure,
  • providing ecosystem services linked to the vitality of territories, employment in rural area, landscape and biodiversity preservation, cultural heritage.

The Special Session will focus on different visions from public policy perspective, and how animal productions can contribute better to the bio-economy from industry, research and farmers perspective. To summarize, the most important findings of the session will be discussed with a panel. The panel discussion will give an introduction to the challenges the animal productions are facing to achieve a better inclusion in a European sustainable bioeconomy.

The challenges the sector has to face will be discussed in more detail during ATF seminar, in Brussels, Nov. 16th 2016, where a large panel of European stakeholders will be invited. 

Click here to see the programme (PDF)

Final detailed report available here.


Please, find below the presentations of the 2016 ATF-EAAP special session:

Animal production's role in a Sustainable Circular Bioeconomy: from a public Policy perspective

Animal production's role in a Sustainable Circular Bioeconomy: vision from the private sector's perspective

Panel Discussion

News Headlines

2017 ATF events - 08 June 2017
ATF-EAAP Special Session
28 August 2017
Tallinn, Estonia

ATF annual Seminar
26 October 2017
Brussels, Belgium


2nd White Paper of ATF - 06 February 2017
2016 was an important year for the European Horizon2020 research agenda setting. The ATF has worked all year long on a Second White Paper (2016) of suggested priorities for research and innovation for the Horizon2020 2018-2020 Work Programme.
Today, we are pleased to announce that the Second White Paper is now available.
This update of the First White Paper (2013) and Addendum (2014) was prepared by the Animal Task Force Presidency and members. It was largely inspired by a dialogue with key stakeholders and institutions in Europe and through the participation of various events related to the European research and innovation agenda and policy setting, to provide a consulted contribution from the animal production sector to the agenda setting for research and innovation.

2nd White Paper
Appendix 2 of the 2nd White Paper


Roadmap for Sustainable EU Livestock. - 30 June 2017

Making food production more sustainable is one of the greatest challenges of our times. In the face of global population growth, increased demand for animal protein, and climate action commitments, we need to ask ourselves how the EU livestock sector can become more sustainable? How can more be produced with less?
Official website 

Environmental sustainability of livestock production - 14 February 2016

Following the first debate entitled “Environmental sustainability of livestock production” organised by ELANCO, EU40 presented “Sustainable EU Livestock Actions Towards an Innovative, Climate", at the European Parliament, Brussels, 27 April 2016. We are pleased to share the ppts and videos of the event, below:


Videos: Overview of the session:

Interview with the ATF President Mr. Jean Louis Peyraud:

 read more ...

WAFL2017 - 21 November 2016
7th International Conference
on the Assessment of Animal Welfare
at Farm and Group Level

5-8 September 2017

Wageningen, The Netherlands

Official website here