Eblex research underestimated carbon footprint of farmers

The second part of the Eblex environmental Roadmap research has found that in some cases livestock producers have a higher carbon footprint than previously thought.

An average beef producer produces 23.8kg C02 equivalent/kg, the study found, not 11kg C02 eq/kg as found in Roadmap Part 1.

"In retrospect perhaps in our first part of the Roadmap we were a little generous in analysing the way the industry was doing," said Eblex head of research and development Duncan Pullar at the conference.

However, Pullar said that research had discovered the value to the landscape of livestock farming was as high as 1.5bn, based on the low pesticide use of beef and sheep farmers, as well as the contribution to biodiversity and landscape management.

He said: "We are now having a more grown-up discussion over livestock and climate change. The debate has moved on, and the complexities of the argument are being recognised."

The Roadmap will be released in full at the end of November.