20,000 years ago, humans began to domesticate animals and benefit from their multiple functions: they were able to diversify their diet, increase their mobility or even dress.
Today, livestock represent 40% of world agricultural production. It provides livelihoods and food security for 45 million pastoralists in developed countries and 1.3 billion in developing countries.
To respond to a worldwide increase in demand for meat and milk and to adapt to a change in production and marketing methods, livestock is facing a major challenge: increasing its production volumes while preserving natural resources. , the multiple forms of agriculture and the peasants who depend on it.
This first part aims to place the French production resulting from the breeding of herbivores (cows, sheep, goats and horses) in a global panorama including the production of granivores (pigs, poultry).
Faced with growing demand for animal products in emerging countries, the global livestock landscape has changed dramatically in recent years. With the globalization of trade and the emergence of new players, milk and meat produced in France find themselves in competition on their market and on exportation with products that sometimes meet lower requirements.
This competition could intensify in Europe if new international agreements are concluded within or outside the World Trade Organization (WTO). Livestock is also affected by the volatility of agricultural prices in animal feed, and faces, like the processing industries, competition from other European countries.
Endowed with a positive international image, the French livestock sectors can nevertheless do well by capitalizing on their strengths. Their reputation is based on undeniable social, environmental and health guarantees. The great diversity of systems and territories that characterize French breeding could allow it to better adapt to an uncertain context, despite production costs that are often higher than in neighboring countries.