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Challenges and assets of official signs of quality in livestock production to meet societal expectations: the example of organic lamb and Label Rouge chicken productions

Issue 4, pp. 381-394

M. BENOIT¹, B. MÉDA²

1 Université Clermont Auvergne, INRA, Vetagro Sup, UMR Herbivores, 63122, Saint-Genès-Champanelle, France
2 URA, INRA, 37380, Nouzilly, France

Abstract

Consumer demand is increasing for products with strong warranties regarding animal welfare, environmental respect or organoleptic quality. These warranties are generally given through official specifications regarding farming practices. We describe here the services provided by two productions with official signs of quality: Label Rouge chickens and organic lambs. Similar aspects can be found in both productions: limitation of the use of some inputs, access to outdoor areas. These elements lead to a lower productivity that can penalise some environmental impacts if expressed per kg of product (e.g. for chickens). Final balances can, however, be better than conventional ones thanks to various offsetting effects and if expressed by € of product. These productions return a positive image to the consumer regarding animal welfare, organoleptic quality or the link to the “terroir’’. New optima appear between productivity level and the provision of services. Some proposals are given to maximize environmental and socio-economic services while improving “provision” service. At the animal scale, the main issues are the improvement of feed efficiency, adaptation to local conditions, ewe productivity. The use of agroecology principles should help, at the farm scale, to couple vegetal and animal productions and, at the region scale, to imagine new synergies between farms.

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