Ethical Meat Project – commitment to animal welfare and agri-food sustainability
The ETHICAL MEAT Project aims to integrate new knowledge resulting from R&D, and the application of innovative methodologies and processes, at all stages of the meat production chain – from “meadow to plate”.
It will develop technological solutions for the rearing of open-air cattle focused on animal welfare, sustainability and efficiency producing meat with higher quality, with extended shelf life (to ensure less food waste), marketed in sustainable packaging.
Aligning the value proposition of meat products with the new sustainability axes demanded by national and European consumers and regulators ensures an increase in their competitiveness in national and international markets.
It is our ultimate goal to contribute to a more sustainable food value chain than:
- be profitable in all its stages (economic sustainability);
- ensure benefits for society (social sustainability);
- ensure a less negative or neutral impact on the natural environment (environmental sustainability)
Ethical Meat Project: incorporation of innovation and technology
New operational and meat production processes incorporating new solutions and technologies will be redesigned within the project.
Operational Processes of Creation (in partnership with the University of Évora):
With the design of a more efficient and sustainable breeding process based on the optimized management of animal welfare in outdoor parks, infrastructured for this purpose, with new generation technology.
By holistically looking at the technological development of a system based on rational management, with technology, equipment and handling to reduce stress (low-stress handling), and an innovative monitoring of the behavior and performance of animals, provides an increase in animal welfare, productive efficiency, reduction of the frequency of diseases, and with positive effects on the quality of the final product. The project combines an increase in productivity and efficiency in the use of factors such as food and labor, with the concomitant reduction of animal stress, valuing sustainability.
Agroindustrial Production (in partnership with the University of Minho):
With the research and application of new agri-food technologies for meat conservation, and sustainable and safe packaging materials.
It is intended to improve the safety and quality of packaged meat, reducing costs, resulting from deterioration or expiration and reducing negative environmental impacts, refining, adjusting and optimizing packaging biomaterials.
A consorcio between Monte do Pasto and the University of Évora and a partnership with Universidade do Minho in the management of the Ethical Meat project
The CONSORTIUM OF THE ETHICAL MEAT Project is formed by Monte do Pasto, a leading entity and the University of Évora, a co-promoter. It has as partner the University of Minho.
The University of Évora, and the team of Prof. Alfredo Pereira, recognized international specialist in the field of animal husbandbreeding with welfare will implement and test innovative methodologies of animal welfare to create and qualify meat produced with more sustainability & animal welfare, more differentiated, with greater added value and more competitive in the national and international markets.
The participation of the University of Minho and its research team of agri-food technology led by Prof. António Vicente and internationally awarded that its mission is to create the conditions to reduce the environmental impact of meat consumption by increasing its shelf life combined with the use of packaging that uses more sustainable materials.
The ethical meat project investment is co-financed by Compete 2020
The ETHICAL MEAT project, with an investment of more than 1 million Euros, is co-financed by Compete 2020 and responds to the objectives defined in the National and Regional Strategies for Intelligent Specialization ENEI/EREI Alentejo, creating added value both at the level of products and in terms of resource qualification, in addition to responding to two major structuring projects in the future of the European Union – “Farm2Fork” and “Green Deal”.
It will take over 2 years and is expected that at the end of 2023 there will be new meat products in the market direct result of the project.
It will be materialized into several innovation subprojects.
Experimental Animal Welfare Park – the first in Europe
The unique “Animal Welfare Experimental Park” in Europe demonstrates the commitment of beneficiaries to continue to grow the added value of the project in the long term.
It also allows the University of Évora and its R&D hub to develop research in a cutting-edge area of livestock production, with strong environmental impact potential, and in terms of food quality and safety, two of the european Union’s major current concerns materialised in the “Green Deal” and “Farm2Fork” strategies.
It will be a laboratory of good animal welfare practices that is intended to be an international reference in this area.
Renewable energy for shading in partnership with FOCUS Renewables
The park includes a renewable energy solution for animal shading, innovative in the European agricultural sector that exploits an endogenous resource of alentejo: the sun, minimizing the environmental impact of cattle farming.
Monte do Pasto Animal Welfare Chair – Outdoor Cattle Breeding at the University of Évora
The Monte do Pasto Animal Welfare – Outdoor Cattle Breeding Chair is the result of a Protocol established between the University of Évora and the Monte do Pasto group and aims to stimulate research, production, dissemination of knowledge, as well as the development and qualification of highly specialized human resources in the area of animal welfare.
The ultimate objective is the incorporation of this knowledge in meat products produced in an ethical and sustainable way, creating more economic, environmental and social impact.
Directed to graduates of the areas of animal science, agro-food engineering and veterinary has as main objectives:
– Requalify and develop highly qualified human resources in emerging and key areas of the agricultural sector: animal welfare and sustainability;
– Research, develop and disseminate processes and technology of well-being and sustainability, innovative for the agricultural sector of the Alentejo region capable of increasing its productivity and competitiveness at national and international level.
– Enhance the attraction and fixation of qualified young talent in the Alentejo region, promoting its development.
Investment in the development of new skills for more sustainable future agriculture
Due to their comprehensiveness and multidisciplinarity, these projects will involve a significant number of the company’s employees, exposing them to innovative creative methodologies.