Beef from Europe Replaces Imports by Air from Overseas

Project type: Energy Efficiency

Project location: Romania

Annual CO₂ reduction: 2,950 t (over 5 years)

Products from overseas produce high CO2 emissions. The goal of this my M climate protection project is therefore to shift beef production from Australia and South America to Europe. Herds and production in Romania will be expanded, so that in future, meat no longer has to be imported by air from overseas. The shift from plane to lorry and the shorter distance reduce CO2 emissions.

For some time, the Zurich Migros cooperative (Migros) has been selling “Black Angus Beef” from the Carpathians in Romania. Before that, the entire range of premium meat came from Australia, North and South America and was flown in by plane. Migros wanted to change this, despite the higher cost of importing meat from Romania as opposed to Australia or South America. This is because infrastructural development for increased beef production in Romania will be very expensive during the first few years. As is also the case with other products, the sustainable way is sometimes the more expensive one.

As part of its sustainability strategy, Migros launched this project, which will be led by two young Swiss entrepreneurs. Imports of Angus beef from overseas will be reduced through European production, reducing CO2 emissions with it. Angus cows from the Carpathians are very much in the spirit of our “Generation M” sustainability programme.

Mattias Riedi, Head of Meat Marketing, Zurich Migros cooperative

The solution, developed by Migros together with myclimate, is the my M Climate Fund: Since the start of 2018, Migros has been offsetting all greenhouse gas emissions created by the air transportation of its goods that could not be transported by land. This compensation from the so-called my M Climate Fund can be used in specifically developed climate protection projects, which myclimate implements in Migros' supply chain. Just like here, for example, in the more environmentally friendly method of transporting beef.

Migros is using this fund to cover the additional costs of expanding meat production in Romania. Once the financial support for the climate protection project comes to an end after five years, Romanian production should be economically sound without subsidies. In the long term, Migros aims to replace as much meat from overseas as possible with Romanian meat. 

Swiss Standards and Quality Guaranteed

The Romanian cattle live on large, natural pastures appropriate for the species. Breeding is practiced in accordance with Swiss traditions and expertise. Animal husbandry fulfils the strict requirements of Migros' Animal Welfare Promise for 2020. There are plans to obtain Micarna certification in line with “Migros Animal Welfare” (MAW) in the second half of 2018, where the entire value chain will be inspected. In addition to this, Migros will check that all suppliers, including those of the Karpaten Meat, satisfy the guidelines set out by the BSCI for working conditions.
The climate protection programme is open to all cooperatives within Migros that would like to also import their meat from Romania in the future, as opposed to places further afield.

Return to programme overview

Situation without project

Import of beef by air from overseas

Project standard

VER Schweiz

Project number

7930-005

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