MONTREAL, Nov. 22, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - With growing concern over the impact of human activities on the environment, the Fédération des producteurs de porcs du Québec (FPPQ) becomes first in the world to carry out a complete life cycle analysis of its production activities. Results from the assessment, conducted by independent firms1, show that Quebec's pork industry boasts an enviable environmental footprint among leading producer countries.
The analysis was carried out according to standards set by the United Nations Environment Programme and comprises three components: water footprint, carbon footprint, and socio-economic impact.
Water footprint: a world leader
The water footprint, which measures water consumption associated with all stages of product manufacturing, documented 231 litres of water for every kilogram of boneless pork produced in Quebec. This amount establishes the water footprint of pork production in Quebec at two times lower than the world average, documented at 462 litres of water per kilogram of pork.
A carbon footprint lower than the leading producers' average
The carbon footprint calculation for hog rearing in Quebec took into account the manufacture of all food products until final dispatch from slaughterhouse. To that end, every kilogram of pork produced in Quebec generates 4.16 kg of CO2e, the equivalent of 13.4 km travelled by car. By comparison, the average of leading producer countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom is documented at 4.65 kg of CO2e. Furthermore, hogs reared for slaughter are responsible for only 7.6 per cent of total GHG emissions generated by agriculture in Quebec.
Socio-economic impact: strong performance for an important economic driver
Socio-economic impact assesses the socio-economic responsibility of pork producers among farm workers, the community and corresponding business partners. The assessment showed that Quebec pork producers have successfully implemented best practices in food safety, animal welfare, soil protection, and harmonious coexistence.
The FPPQ is timing the findings to coincide with the release of its latest update2 on its economic impact in Quebec. The hog rearing industry, from production through processing, accounts for nearly 30 per cent of agricultural activities in Quebec and employs 25,600 workers. It is the second largest agri-food sector and generates $2.25 billion in annual economic spin-off.
"We are very pleased that our producers' efforts are beginning to bear fruit. Thanks to their commitment and with the collaboration of partners, the FPPQ has adopted an action plan to deliver dynamic, innovative sustainability measures to the heart of pork production, thus going above and beyond the high standards currently in effect," said David Boissonneault, FPPQ President. "Not only does our product stand out for the sheer variety of its cuts, but it also responds to the growing needs of Quebec consumers and serves as a guarantee of quality and differentiation on export markets."
With a commitment to continuous improvement, the FPPQ will produce a third party social responsibility report in 2013 that will allow the Quebec pork industry to establish an action plan to improve its socio-economic impact. "We don't plan on just stopping there—there is still much work to be done, but the results of our life cycle analysis are very promising," explained Mr. Boissonneault. "Despite the ongoing challenging financial climate, Quebec producers continue to rear hogs with the aim of improving the industry and through expertise that's recognized the world over," he concluded.
About the Fédération des producteurs de porcs du Québec
The Fédération des producteurs de porcs du Québec represents the interests of 3,500 pork producers in 12 regional syndicates. Quebec's pork producers raise over 7.5 million hogs per year and generate economic benefits amounting to over $2.25 billion across the province. The pork industry in Quebec employs some 25,600 people and exports 60 per cent of its products to more than 125 countries. www.leporcduquebec.com
1 Study conducted by Agéco, OCO Technologies, and Quantis Canada.
2 Evaluation conducted by MCE Conseils.
SOURCE: Fédération des producteurs de porcs du Québec
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