Which method for environmental assessment and labeling for the ruminant red meat sector?

Interbev, the National Interprofessional Association of Cattle and Meat, took part in the experimentation of environmental labelling of food, promulgated by the AGEC law (anti-waste law for a circular economy) and the “Climate and resilience” law. The main objective for INTERBEV was to contribute to the evolution of LCA-based (Life Cycle Analysis) environmental methodologies and Agribalyse data base for LCI (Life Cycle Inventory). Currently these have shortcomings and methodological biases very unfavorable to ruminant meat production, which has a long-life cycle. Conversely, the environmental benefits recognized by society and public policies, linked in particular to the enhancement of grasslands and the associated ecosystem services (biodiversity, carbone sequestration) are not included. This project made it possible to rebalance the existing indicators - in LCA or non-LCA - making it possible to fill these gaps and to question certain aspects of the methodology used in Agribalyse (allocation, climate change, soil occupation). Different aggregation and weighting methods were evaluated, considering consumer expectations and priority issues identified by both stakeholders (including NGO in particular) and industry players. The results show that an assessment and labelling alternative to those based on LCA alone is not only possible but essential for a complete vision of agricultural systems and an informed choice of consumers.