Solidaridad Co-launches China Roundtable on Sustainable Livestock

On March 29, 2018 the China Roundtable on Sustainable Livestock was launched in Shijiazhuang City on the margins of the First China Ruminant Conference. This marked the beginning of a globally significant multi-stakeholder process for improving the productivity and sustainability of both China’s livestock sector and that of its major source of imported meat: Brazil.

Organized by China Animal Agriculture Association, China Institute of Animal Science and Solidaridad Network, the launch included representatives from the China Meat Association, the Brazilian Embassy, Earth Innovation Institute, Wageningen University, Asia Development Bank, Walmart, WWF and Chinese enterprises. With over 500 participants, this was the first conference, which sustainability was the central theme.

Joint Solutions For a More Sustainable Livestock Sector

The roundtable was opened by Mr. Liu Qiangde, Vice Secretary General of the China Animal Agriculture Association, and Dr. Tsuebing Sun, Managing Director of Solidaridad Network’s China office who remarked on the importance of working together to jointly find solutions for a more sustainable livestock sector.

China Agriculture Association said that while China needs more beef imports, it also needs improved production. This is because the current fertility of cattle in China is just 70% and this, paired with the high cost of feed means that sustainability needs to address these issues to fully leverage existing resources and more technical assistance.

Climate Change & The Reduction of Emissions

Climate change played a central theme in the discussion. Professor Erda Lin, of the China Academy of Science, shared progress and developments made to address Climate Change in China. Theun Vellinga, Professor of Wageningen University, shared how to calculate emissions through the livestock supply chain. She shared methods both for identifying emissions through supply chains and methodologies for reducing them.

Accelerating Sustainable Low-carbon Cattle Production

Jean Cury Carlo Manfredini, Agriculture Counselor of the Embassy of Brazil and Dr. Daniel Nepstad of Earth Innovation Institute shared the good practices in Brazil to accelerate sustainable low-carbon cattle production and possible linkages between China and Brazil’s climate change policies.

Pictured:  Dr. Tsuebing Sun, Managing Director of Solidaridad Network China

Responsible Production Through Private Sector Investment

Linda Wang, Investment Specialist for the Agri-business team at Asia Development Bank shared the projects that Asia Development Bank has initiated in the Chinese animal husbandry sector to encourage responsible production through private sector investment.

Levy Zheng, Director of Fresh Meat Hypermarket Merchandising Division of Walmart, shared Walmart’s global sustainability strategy and intentions for the Chinese market. Zheng noted the characteristics and habits of Chinese consumers, and the importance of building awareness amongst consumers through information and knowledge sharing. Mark, CEO of Austrasian Global Exports Pty Ltd, shared the perspectives from his company, remarking that the ultimate goal is profitability, and in order for sustainability to be viable, it must also be competitive.

Dr. Tsuebing Sun, Managing Director of Solidaridad Network REC China closed the discussion remarking that through the joint support of partners, the Roundtable intends to serve as a platform for knowledge sharing, strategies, and solutions to coordinate and develop consensus on the topic of sustainability to formulate a plan that can be translated into action.