Steps towards the differentiation of products coming from extensive grazing in the market

By Elena Domínguez Salinas, Programa de Alimentos, WWF España

On 10th March 2021, WWF co-organized the workshop Extensive grazing matters. A look into its economics aspects with organizations from the extensive grazing sector. During the workshop, the report Identification of barriers and opportunities in the extensive sheep/goat value chain was presented (Spanish version here). This report characterized the value chain for extensive production of sheep and goat as is shown in this diagram:

The report also identified the main barriers for these types of productions:

One of the main bottlenecks highlighted in the report is the lack of differentiation of the products coming from extensive grazing. As it is not possible to differentiate a product coming from industrial farming from a product coming from an extensive model of production, there is no way to put in place policy or market tools to support the less impacting type of production models.

But the differentiation of these types of productions is not evident. To help advance the debate, WWF has worked together with the Spanish Society for Pastures, the Spanish Platform for Extensive Grazing and Trashumancia y Naturaleza in a Proposal for the Characterization of Extensive Grazing. More than 40 experts and organizations have provided their input in the development of this document.

The objective of this proposal is to be a starting point to the needed process of characterization of extensive grazing. This step is fundamental if we want the Common Agriculture Policy in the EU to support extensive grazing or the markets to prioritize products coming from extensive farms instead of those coming from industrial farming. The future of extensive farmers depends on it.

The path that we need to walk to make this happen is still long, but we have taken some steps in the right direction and we are closer to our destination.

Read more here, or download the reports: