Consumer needs have evolved over the years, as has their sensitivity towards health and sustainability issues. Production technologies, both on the level of breeding and food production, have adapted and developed to continue to offer competitive products suited to contemporary tastes, while retaining those typical elements at the heart of gastronomic culture. The consumption of meat has become the subject of much attention and debate, mainly linked to nutritional and environmental reasons, but it has been shown that consuming meat in a balanced way has no negative effects on health or on environmental and economic sustainability. The entire Italian pig sector is committed to adopting more sustainable environmental practices, from energy efficiency, to the use of low-impact energy and the adoption of environmental management systems, for the promotion of animal welfare, for the reduction of packaging or their green transition. Last but not least, to educate the consumer on conscious consumption and the fight against wastefulness.
European animal welfare legislation is one of the most advanced and comprehensive in the world. What is meant by animal welfare is well described by the “five freedoms“: from hunger, thirst, pain, disease, fear and discomfort. And then behavioural freedom, in a suitable environment. Strict rules regulate the behaviour of operators at all levels of the supply chain in the various stages of production: from the requirements for housing to the transport and slaughter of farm animals, to the specific requirements for certain species and the labelling of meat. Animal welfare is important for a breeder both because no one wants the animals to suffer, and because treating the animal well means producing well. More than intensive breeding, in Italy we should talk about protected, digital, precision breeding, which guarantees high standards of animal welfare, safety and production quality. The space available to each one must be such as to ensure conditions of well-being. European and Italian laws require it, animals demand it and it is the first concern of any self-respecting breeder.