Whether it is milk that needs to be processed and preserved or meat that needs to be boned and cut up, the processing industries are an essential step in making livestock products available. Many actors intervene between the breeder and the consumer: producer organizations or cooperatives, transporters, cattle dealers or traders, dairies and slaughterhouses.
Also counting veterinarians, traders, equipment dealers and advice and service functions, it is estimated that around 750,000 jobs are linked to breeding and its sectors that drive our territories. In 2011, the French agri-food sector recorded a record surplus of 11.4 billion euros, thus becoming the second surplus item after aeronautics.
The herbivorous sectors fully participate in this dynamism with a surplus of more than 4 billion euros and export opportunities …
While each livestock sector is specific, there are many interactions between the different players and products. For example, 60% of beef production comes from the slaughter of cattle from suckler herds – specifically intended for meat production and for the remaining 40%, from the slaughter of dairy cows at the end of their career. to the “cull” – as well as animals not used for milk production.
The consumption of animal products is changing. Formerly a symbol of strength and life, meat is sometimes viewed with suspicion in France, as in all developed countries. It nevertheless remains at the heart of the “French-style” meal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and enjoys a quality export image. French dairy products and cheeses, much less questioned, remain very popular around the world.
Livestock and its sectors produce many co-products. Leather, wool, but also gelatin and whey are widely processed in France. They participate fully in the creation of wealth and jobs. Between traditions and innovations, the livestock professions play a vital role in the countryside.