Nordic native breeds such as the northern Finncattle, the Norwegian kystgeit and the Swedish Orust chicken are important for preserving the biodiversity we are so much dependent on. They can also contribute to a sustainable development of our society and agriculture. But a new scientific overview article states that several of our farm animal breeds are classified as threatened. If we don’t invest the resources needed to preserve these animals, it is likely that they’re facing a dark future.
Native breeds have been unpopular the last decades since they can’t produce as much milk and meat as modern breeds. To increase yield is fundamental for a successful enterprise, agriculture included. Hence, today’s food production is relying on intensive production systems with modern techniques and modern breeds. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to produce meat and dairy in the volumes required by consumers.
But although the native breeds can’t compete with the modern breeds when it comes to production volumes, they do have important and unique properties that need to be preserved and used in a sustainable way.