中国的畜牧业发展极可能步美国后尘——Craig Morris专访

2018-07-20

 

          20171013日,在世界农场动物福利大会上,美国农业部市场服务局副局长克雷格·莫里斯(Craig Morris)博士接受了采访,讲述了他对中美动物福利事业的看法。

  

“我认为中国会走和美国一样的道路。在很大程度上,我们在美国见到的极可能首先发生于欧洲。中国和美国相似,我们都拥有集约型农业体系,我们都注重效率。中国的优势在于,可采纳已存在的最优信息,如我们如何管理整个过程,如何通过审计,如何为消费者服务以向消费者提供生产制度透明化的产品等方面。”

在美国,具有附加值的产品不仅受人喜爱,而且发展迅速。“在美国,例如有机产品,其拥有约150亿美元的市场。在过去10年里,有机产品年年都经历着巨大的增长。与动物福利密切相关的一系列其它领域也取得了长足发展。这些产品不仅市场比例在增长,更有市场溢价。因此,生产者如若选择以超越传统惯例的方式进行生产实践,常常能够卖出更高的价格,这部分利润相对于增加的成本来说,绰绰有余。所以,因消费者愿意支付更高的价格,市场可推动生产者改善实践。”

如何将农业生产者与市场需求更紧密、更真切地联系起来?这正是美国农业部市场服务局的职责所在。农业部市场服务局(AMS)的评估项目评估产业动物福利项目,并确保这些项目符合ISO动物福利技术规范: ISO/TS 34700-2016,克雷格·莫里斯博士参与了该规范的制定。“当生产者作出声明时,我们给予消费者信心,当消费者在货架上看见‘美国农业部认证’的标记时,他们便知道这些声明遵循美国政府的审计。在市场服务局,‘国家有机项目’是我们监督的项目之一,这其中包含许多与牲畜饲养生产制度相关的要求。我们经常看到消费者寻求有机领域之外的其它信息,特别是与动物福利相关以及其它多方面的信息,无论是牧场饲养的猪还是食草牛。市场服务局努力确保这些声明是真实的。”

据克雷格·莫里斯博士所说,进行测量对于管理事物而言是关键所在,包括动物福利。“我认为中国在做的值得称赞,不仅学习世界已有的动物福利制度,还根据中国当前的状况建立基线。今天我看了一位演讲嘉宾谈论在不同生产制度下,动物是否处于应激状态的多个指标。通过测量,这会为你提供一个底线以了解当你在中国做出改变时,你是否真正改善了动物福利。通过测量,你可了解需要在哪里集中资源,需要在哪里提供培训以及在哪里进行审计。”

克雷格·莫里斯博士认为世界农场动物福利大会是一个美国和中国向彼此学习的极好的机会。“在未来几年,美国和中国之间的贸易将增加。因而,我们在应对动物福利问题上有着相似的方法非常重要。如果中国的市场和消费者、美国的市场和消费者、中国的市场和生产者、美国的市场和生产者都对动物福利问题持相似观点,我们就有使得两个市场之间形成互惠互利的贸易关系的最好机会。我认为我们如若勤于沟通有关动物福利方面的努力,我们的关系产生障碍的可能性就越小。”


 China Will Probably Follow the Same Path as the US in Livestock Industry Development

An Interview with Dr. Craig Morris, Deputy Administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service of United States Department of Agriculture in World Conference on Farm Animal Welfare

 

“I think China will follow the same path as the US. In a large measure, what we see in the US probably happened firstly in Europe. The US and China are similar in that we have intensive agricultural systems. We are focused on efficiency. China has the advantage to embrace the best information already out there in terms of how we manage the processes, how we, not only through auditing, but through work we do with consumers, how we provide products to consumers seeking to have transparency in production systems that we vote to share frankly.”

 

In the US, products with additional value not only enjoy popularity, but also experience rapid growth. “If you look at the US market place, the organic sector, for example, it’s roughly 15 billion dollars market in the US. It has experienced huge growth year after year in the last decade. We also see a lot of growth in a whole series of other areas closely related to animal welfare. Not only are the markets growing in the US, but they are demanding premiums in the market place. So producers choose to do things beyond conventional practices, oftentimes, they are receiving a premium product that more than covers the cost associated with that. So it’s the market place decision if the consumers are willing to pay the additional.”

 

How to connect agricultural producers more closely and truthfully with market demands? That’s where the Agricultural Marketing Service of United States Department of Agriculture comes into play. The assessment program of the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) assesses industry animal welfare programs and makes sure those programs are consistent with ISO technical specification on animal welfare: ISO/TS 34700-2016, the development of which Dr. Craig Morris had participated in. “We help provide consumers with confidence when companies make claims, when they see things like the USDA Process Verified in the shelf, they know these claims have been followed through audits the US government provides. One of the programs that we oversee in the Agricultural Marketing Service is called National Organic Program which has a lot of requirements related to production systems that livestock are raised under. We see oftentimes, consumers are looking for additional information beyond the organic field, claims specifically related to animal welfare and a whole variety of other things, whether it’s pasture-raised hogs or grass-fed beef. AMS tries to make sure that those are truthful claims.”

 

According to Dr. Craig Morris, taking measurements is key to managing things, including animal welfare. “I think it’s commendable what China is doing, is not only learning about animal welfare systems that exist around the world, but also take baselines of what the current circumstances are in China. I was watching one of the presenters talking about a variety of indicators that could determine whether or not animals are in a stressful situation in different production systems. By taking measurements, it gives you a baseline to understand as you make changes in China whether you are improving animal welfare or not. By measuring, you get an idea where you need to focus your resources, where you need to provide training and where you need to auditing.”

 

Dr. Craig Morris thinks that World Conference on Farm Animal Welfare is an amazing opportunity for the US and China to learn from one another. “The trade between the US and China will increase in the years ahead. It’s important that we will both approach issues in animal welfare similarly. Your market, your consumers, our market, our consumers, your market, your producers, our market and our producers all look at animal welfare issues similarly. So we have the best opportunity for mutually beneficial trade relationships between our two markets. I think the more we communicate on efforts related to animal welfare, the less likely we are going to have any impediment to that relationship.”