Food security globally is an emerging concern bringing focus to our existing food system and supply chain. World Animal Protection aims to transform the food system that fuels animal abuse, impacting people, health and planet. On the occasion of Poultry Day we bring back the focus on how the increasing demand for animal protein is leading to the creation of more and more factory farms. This is resulting into destruction of forests to produce vast quantities of animal feed, mean more wild animals lose their home and become a major contributor to climate change. The waste and contamination generated by factory farms pollutes our planet. Every year approximately 1.3 million tonnes of pesticides are used to grow crops destined for animal feed. The manure from factory farms pollutes air and waterways. Together these pollutants cause more than 400 dead zones in rivers and oceans where nothing can live. They also contaminate drinking water, edible crops, wildlife and parks areas. To prevent farm animals becoming ill and to accelerate growth rates, they are pumped full of antibiotics. The unchecked overuse of antibiotics across the whole industrial farming system is resulting in antimicrobial resistance in animals, people and the environment.

 

Honourable Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare being welcomed by Sanjay Sethi, Executive Director PBFIA. (Other members from L to R – Shri Beeda Masthan Rao Yadav, MP Rajya Sabha AP, Dr. Sudhanshu, Secretary, Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority, Amit Vatsayan,Partner, Ernst & Young India)

As part of AAHAAR 2023, the International Food & Hospitality Fair, a flagship B2B event organized by India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO), the premier trade promotion body of the Government of India. “The Dawn of a Plant-Based Age” summit was organised by Plant Based Foods Industry Association (PBFIA) which alone had more than 300 emerging brands, manufacturers and suppliers working for plant based and cruelty free solutions. The conference was presented by Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) and ITPO, co-organised by PHD Chamber, supported by Franchise India, EY as Knowledge Partner and Brenntag as the Principal Sponsor.

 

Gajender K Sharma, Country Director, World Animal Protection India, addressing the session “making plant-based foods mainstream

This kind of an event helps open doors to new opportunities, avenue and alternative platforms not only for employability, health but for farmers and suppliers. We expect a fruitful outcome of such endeavors which addresses the concerns on food security and provide both for consumers and farmers with healthy and better alternatives. By 2050 food security will be a major concern and this is the right time to address this issue for a sustainable future,” said Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare in the inaugural event “Dawn of a Plant-Based Age” in Aahaar 2023.

World Animal Protection is working to transform the food systems where respect for animals and nature sits at the heart, which equitable, sustainable, resilient, and capable of feeding the world. The high quantity, low quality intensive animal farming practices results in animal, human and environment suffering on a global scale. We need to work together to move consumers, corporates and policy makers to focus on plant-based food to help protect animals, people and plant, and initiative like this is a key step forward to reduce animal suffering and cruelty to farm animals,” said Gajender K Sharma, Country Director, World Animal Protection India.

India has the potential to become a major supplier of plant-based proteins globally. The Dawn of a Plant-Based Age conference is a steppingstone in realising that potential and opening up prospects for plant-based foods and plant proteins. It is critical for India to fully embrace and engage in this expanding industry, seeking cost-effective supply sources and developing innovative environment. Let us work together to create a sustainable and compassionate future for all with the Plant Based Navratri Campaign 2023, Switch to Plant-Based Foods – Navaratri Se Shubharambh, “said Sanjay Sethi, Executive Director, PBFIA.

The future is to end intensive animal farming that believes can feed populations whilst ignoring health and climate impacts fueling animal cruelty and abuse. There is a need to explore alternatives like plant-based foods that are better for animals, farmers, consumers, and planet.