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European Beef Sector gather to drive sustainability

All actors and stakeholders in cattle farming and beef production are invited to attend BovINE’s online meeting to share knowledge and discuss the sustainable future of the sector. The online meeting on 2nd December 2021 is open to all.

European Beef Sector gather to drive sustainability

logo for BovINE

The 2nd International Meeting of the EU funded H2020 network project BovINE is hosted by Estonian partner Liivimaa Lihaveis. The meeting brings together beef farmers, advisors, veterinarians, producers, suppliers, researchers, and policy players to share knowledge and exchange ideas to establish the sustainability of the European beef sector.

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“On behalf of Liivimaa, Estonia is delighted to host this BovINE meeting at such a critical point in the sector’s history,” says Estonian Network Manager, Airi Külvet. “BovINE’s network across 10 countries enables access to existing and developing knowledge to improve not only animal health and welfare, but also environmental sustainability and socioeconomic resilience of the beef farming community including production efficiency. In addition, knowledge shared on consumer needs and expectations of meat quality for example will help us plan for the future.”

Estonia’s Minister for Rural Affairs, Mr. Urmas Kruuse, will open the meeting with a keynote speech on Estonia's perspective on sustainability and beef, followed by a series of sessions presented by BovINE’s Network Managers and Thematic Working Group leaders.

Outcomes from demonstrations and discussions held over the past year with and between farmers will highlight Good Practices already in use and Research Innovations identified across the project’s four thematic areas: Environmental Sustainability, Socioeconomic Resilience, Animal Health & Welfare, and Production Efficiency and Meat Quality.

To enable productive knowledge exchange, simultaneous live translation into eight European languages will be available to all participants via the online meeting platform. The languages available are English, Estonian, French, German, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian.

“Many solutions to the challenges facing the beef sector already exist,” says BovINE project coordinator, Prof Maeve Henchion of Teagasc. “Some are solutions farmers have come up with themselves and are already implementing on-farm, others have been developed by researchers and are ready to move from research into practice. BovINE has collected solutions to specific topics across all dimensions of sustainability from these sources in 2021. We look forward to discussing them with farmers, advisors, researchers and all representatives of the beef value chain at our forthcoming meeting.”

Richard Lynch BovINE Project Manager says “Developing a beef sector that meets the demands of both the consumer and the farmer will require the input of multiple actors from the Beef Knowledge and Innovation System. This upcoming meeting is a great opportunity to see how the BovINE project is bringing together multiple actors from across Europe to support the sector in becoming more sustainable” 

For more information, including the agenda for the online meeting on 2nd December 2021, and to register, please see the Eventbrite page 

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Ends/Notes follow

Notes to Editors:

  1. 2021 Priority Topics for each of the four BovINE Themes

BovINE Theme

Priority Topic Titles

Brief Descriptions

Socio-economic Resilience Initiatives to improve the image of and promote the sustainable consumption of beef Identify strategies that can improve consumer perception of beef e.g. short food supply chains, certification and sustainability labels and farm certification schemes
Economically efficient housing systems for beef cattle Identify efficient housing systems that reduce excessive handling of animals;  reduce the level of stress on both the animal and the operator, and reduce energy & water consumption
Animal Health & Welfare

Simple labour-saving tools to measure and communicate high animal welfare standards on beef farms.


Identify tools that allow fast and effective farmer inspections and on-farm assessments through mobile devices and/or paper exercises.


Management, housing, and environmental factors which affect animal welfare in rearing and finishing units


Identify the influence of stressors such animal handling operations and antagonistic interactions between animals or access to resources on average daily weight gain and thus improve animal health and welfare

Environmental Sustainability

Environmental sustainability reward schemes for beef farmers

Identity schemes that reward farmers for meeting/achieving environmental deliverables such as carbon reduction and improvements to biodiversity, water, soil, and air quality.

Carbon sequestration on beef farms

Identify methods used to improve carbon sequestration on beef farms such as grassland management techniques, simplified cropping techniques and the potential role of agroforestry.

Production Efficiency & Meat Quality

Impact of animal feeding and stress on meat quality

Identify feeding and stress management strategies (on farm and during transport) that can alter meat quality, as perceived by consumers (appearance, eating quality, shelf-life, credence attributes)

Optimizing the number of calves per cow per year in suckler beef herds

Identify strategies (nutritional, health, animal and data management, genetics) to accomplish (or get close to) target production of one live calf per cow per year.

Further detail about the Priority Topics is available on the BovINE website www.bovine-eu.net and on the Bovine Knowledge Hub (BKH) – hub.bovine-eu.net/login

  1. Further information regarding the project including requests for interviews with the Theme Leaders, Project Manager, or other project team members, and/or audio-visual content (photos/videos) please contact Rhonda Smith & Marie Saville in the UK at bovine@minervacomms.net +44 (0) 1264 326427 / +44(0)7887-714957
  2. BovINE has a Network Manager (NM) based in each of the 9 member states (Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal & Spain) building networks across their beef farming communities. Contact information for each NM can be found on the BovINE website: http://www.bovine-eu.net/network-managers/ 
  3. This Press Release and further information on the Priority Topics is available in other languages. Click on the flags on the Home Page of the BovINE website to access all translated materials of that country.
  4. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 rural renaissance programme. Project No: 862590 under call H2020-RUR-2019-15. Further information is available at https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/862590
  5. BovINE project partners
No. * Participant organisation name Country Partner type
1 Teagasc - Agriculture and Food Development Authority
Project Coordinator – Prof. Maeve Henchion maeve.henchion@teagasc.ie
Project Manager – Richard Lynch: richard.lynch@teagasc.ie
Ireland Applied research/ extension
2 Feirmeoiri Aontuithe na h-Eireann Iontaobiathe Teoranta LBG Ireland Farmers association
3 Centro Ricerche Produzioni Animali - C.R.P.A. s.p.a. Italy Applied research
4 Unicarve - Associazione Produttori Carni Bovine Italy Farmers association
5 Institut de l'Elevage (IDELE) France Applied research/advisory
6 Fédération Nationale Bovine (FNB) France Beef farmers association.
7 Universidad de Zaragoza Spain Research
8 Instituto Navarro de Tecnologias e Infraestructuras Agroalimentarias SA Spain Applied research/advisory
9 Szkola Glowna Gospodarstwa Wiejskiego Poland Research
10 Polish Beef Association Poland Beef farmers association
11 Faculdade de Medicina Veterinaria Portugal Research
12 ACBM- Associação de Criadores de Bovinos Mertolengos Portugal Beef breeders’ association
13 Eigen Vermogen van het Instituut voor Landbouw- en Visserijonderzoek Belgium Applied research
14 Boerenbond Belgium Farmers association
15 Friedrich Loeffler Institut - Bundesforschungsinstitut fur Tiergesundheit Germany Research
16 Bundesverband Rind und Schwein e.V Germany Farmers association
17 Minerva HCC Ltd UK SME – communications
18 NPO Liivimaa Lihaveis Estonia Non-Profit Organisation