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08 Oct 2009


Agriculture & Food
Health & Consumers

Faced with a lack of profitability, which has led to declining production, industry leaders and experts from all over the world are gathered here in Brussels on the 8 and 9 October for the first International Sheepmeat Forum, to discuss the challenges for the sector and to consider
opportunities to secure a sustainable future.

Around 130 experts from 20 countries are present at the Forum to debate ways to improve the viability of the sector and to make it more sustainable. In particular, the Forum will address the challenges of declining production, maintaining consumer demand and achieving sustainable
long-term profitablility. It will focus on ways to meet consumer expectations in relation to animal welfare, food safety and animal traceability requirements, from a farmer, industry and retailer perspective. It will also examine ways to promote lamb and sheepmeat consumption, in
a bid to give the declining sector a future. In addition, the Forum will be a first attempt to launch
a discussion about what the sheepmeat sector can do to tackle climate change from an international perspective.

Speaking in Brussels, Chairman of the Forum and Copa-Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen said “The long term sustainability of sheep production globally has challenges we feel should be addressed . I am therefore delighted to see so many experts gathered here today to identify ways to help the sector survive in the long-term”.

Key speakers at the Forum include EU Farm Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel who will be talking about the future of sheepmeat production in Europe. MEP Liam Aylward and Swedish Secretary of State for Agriculture Rolf Eriksson will also speak about ways to give the sector a boost over dinner. In order to give participants and guests a taste of how consumption can be promoted, a buffet lunch will be provided by Agneau Presto on Friday October 9 at 13.30 h
where journalists are also invited.

For further information, please contact:
Noa Simon
Policy Advisor
Tel.: +32 2 287 27 33
Amanda Cheesley
Press Officer
Mobile: + 32 474 840 836