11 June 2015. Brussels. Healthy Animals, Healthy Food, a Healthy Future conference. Responsible use of veterinary medicines and sustainable animal production play a crucial role in securing animal health and provisioning a safe, secure and sustainable food supply. That was the conclusion of the ‘Healthy Animals, Healthy Food, a Healthy Future’ conference organised by the International Federation for Animal Health – Europe (IFAH-Europe).
Animal health products are a key contributor to sustainable development and a healthier planet. Food products from sick animals cannot be sold for human consumption, so pan-European access to a wide range of veterinary medicines to keep animals healthy is essential to address global food security challenges as well as to the economic viability of farming in Europe.
Jimmy Smith, director general of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), gave a keynote presentation with four key messages:
- Demand for animal source foods is increasing rapidly—almost all the increase is in developing countries
- Despite this, food and nutritional challenges remain
- Small producers dominate the food economy in the developing world and can respond to the demand pull and do so in environmentally sustainable and healthy ways
- New markets for European agriculture and agri-food industry are emerging