The CAP – Confederation of Farmers of Portugal is against the intention announced today by the Environment Minister, João Pedro Matos Fernandes, to reduce the national production of cattle.
"CAP (…) has expressed surprise and opposition to the intentions of the Minister of the Environment, under the 'Roadmap for Carbon Neutrality', regarding a reduction of national cattle production between 25% and 50%. For CAP, this position demonstrates lack of knowledge of the reality of Portuguese agriculture and can only be an isolated intention of the Ministry of Environment in the Government as a whole, "said the confederation in a statement.
According to CAP, "cattle production in Portugal is mainly carried out under an extensive regime, with a contribution to greenhouse gases substantially lower than that of intensive production systems in other countries."
"Even the biodiverse pastures existing in our country contribute precisely to the fixation of carbon in the atmosphere," said statement.
On the other hand, CAP recalls that "for more than 30 years there has been a European policy for the preservation of indigenous breeds, which correspond to an important genetic heritage of bovine production in Portugal".
"In addition, a reduction in beef production would have a very significant impact on the production of milk, cheese and yoghurt products, among other products, which would also increase domestic imports and jeopardize our economic growth," CAP reports.
The institution presided over by Eduardo Oliveira e Sousa stresses that "beyond all this, it is naturally questionable, from the environmental point of view, that each country stops producing what will then import from other countries, with an ecological footprint probably higher ".
"In the case of the meat in concrete, the big world producers are Brazil and Argentina, which implies a cost and a very considerable ecological footprint only with regard to transportation", warns the CAP.
The statement by the confederation of national farmers considers that "this position of the Ministry of the Environment is a position that falls short of both the Common Agricultural Policy and the general objectives of the government in relation to agriculture and the economy in general, aggravate the situation of depopulation in the interior of the country ".
"In reality, the intentions now voiced by the Minister of the Environment regarding the production of cattle do not contribute to the reduction of the overall ecological footprint and very little to the national footprint, as well as having very significant negative economic impacts both for agriculture and for the country, "concludes the statement from CAP.