http://www.cbd.int/abs/ CGRFA/WG-AnGR-7/12/Inf.6 Box The Samburu Biocultural Community Protocol and conservation of the Red Massai sheep in Kenya Background The Samburu are a part of Maa speaking pastoralists found in Kenya and The United Republic of Tanzania. In addition to the Samburu, the Maa community includes the Maasai of southern Kenya and northern United Republic of Tanzania and Likipia and Chemus of northern Kenya. The Samburu are found in the dry region of northern Kenya. They keep many indigenous livestock species and breeds, including the Red Maasai sheep. This fat-tailed hair sheep has been kept by the Maa community for centuries. It is renowned for its drought tolerance, general hardiness and disease resistance, especially against gastrointestinal parasites. More importantly, this sheep plays an important role in the livelihood and food security of the Samburu, as well as serving numerous social-cultural functions Kosgey, 2004). More recently, the breed’s unique genetic characteristics have attracted the attention of scientists, keen to understand their possible commercial benefits.
Although the Red Massai has valuable adaptability traits, its meat production is relatively low and the survival of the breed is threatened by intensive and sustained promotion of cross-breeding programmes with Dorper sheep and high market demand for large-bodied crosses. As a result, many Red Maasai sheep keepers are abandoning the breed in favour of the crosses. This is despite the fact that the increased incidence of droughts observed recently in Kenya is decimating the less hardy Red Maasai-Dorper crosses. The development of a Samburu BCP was therefore proposed, with the objective of reversing this trend by reinforcing the importance of the Red Maasai sheep and encouraging the livestock keepers to continue maintaining the breed.
The process Although outside experts usually play a major role, the development of BCP is based on a participatory process that ensures that the communities involved take the ownership of the process and the product. The Samburu BCP 17 was initiated by a team that was composed of lawyers from Natural Justice, staff from the League for Pastoral Peoples, a female Raika community leader (with experience developing a BCP for her own community in India), a member of LIFE Network Africa and one prominent member of the Samburu community. The team held a series of meetings with the Samburu to create awareness. Later, the team facilitated a representative group of the Red Maasai breeders to document their local knowledge. Based on these interactions, a draft BCP was developed and then translated into the Samburu language. The translated version was then presented to a representative group of the Samburu community at a workshop during which they critiqued, amended and endorsed the contents. In addition, the Samburu used this opportunity to suggest a way forward regarding the use of the BCP and conservation of their local livestock breeds. They agreed to use the BCP as learning tool for their young generation, to inform the world of their important contribution to global biodiversity, to initiate village-level conservation efforts and to promote the endorsement of the BCP by other Maa communities. The document was then edited, typeset and published. The published document was launched at a ceremony organized in the Samburu territory and attended by officials from the Kenyan Ministry of Livestock Development and LIFE Network.
The benefits The process of developing the BCP offered Samburu livestock keepers an opportunity to reflect on the sociocultural dimension of their livestock and enabled them to document their role in maintaining the diversity of animal genetic resources and ecosystems. They also became more informed about national and international processes and frameworks that recognize their role, and how they can be used them to draw attention from the outside world. The interaction between the Samburu and government officials at the launch of the BCP document and the subsequent wider sharing has promoted the exchange of ideas on issues relating to the conservation of local breeds and highlighted the role of the livestock keeper at both the national and international levels. In fact, the process of developing a BCP was an empowering process for the Samburu, as it helped them to think through various opportunities that may be inherent in their animal genetic resources. It also allowed them to flag their local breeds as their property and put on record the role of their traditional knowledge in the development of these animal genetic resources. The publication of the BCP generated excitement and interest among the Samburu, who were very happy to see their information published, and this has kindled their interest in initiating community-based breed conservation activities.
Provided by Jacob Wanyama.
http://www.pastoralpeoples.org/docs/Samburu_Biocultural_Protocol_en.pdf CGRFA/WG-AnGR-7/12/Inf.6 Action 2. Hold a series of meetings to collect and discuss information on the community’s customs, practices, indigenous knowledge and long-term plans and their objectives in developing a BCP Meetings with various community members should be held to gather information and discuss challenges facing the community. Ideally, attendance should be balanced for gender and other factors, so as to ensure comprehensive representation. Information collected should include the characteristics of the breed, especially those characteristics that are particularly special or unique;
traditional practices, methods and technologies used to manage the breed and its genetic diversity;
and any particular efforts taken to care for the natural biodiversity within the environment where the breed is kept. Public goods that the community produce by keeping their livestock should be noted. The breed’s cultural and ceremonial importance should be noted. Problems faced by the community that threaten their continued existence and ability to maintain their animal genetic resources should be discussed. Problems that may have political solutions, such as more favourable regulation of access to grazing or payment for environmental services, should be particularly highlighted.
Action 3. Obtain solid and preferably quantitative data about the community and its management of resources The BCP will be a much more powerful document if it is based on strong and tangible evidence, rather than subjective political commentary. For example, inventories of plant and wild animal biodiversity in lands traditionally used for grazing may demonstrate that livestock keeping should be promoted in that area rather than restricted. Mapping, photos and video recordings can support the information collection process.
Action 4. Provide relevant and appropriate training to community members The process of preparing a BCP can be even more important to the community than the final document that results from the process. The community members should be informed about policy instruments such as the Global Plan of Action and the Nagoya Protocol and of their rights as developers of their breed or breeds and as producers of public goods. Training on data collection and documentation, legal empowerment and facilitation of meetings with policy-makers should also be provided.
Task 2. Prepare the BCP Action 1. Develop an outline of the BCP to ensure that all relevant information is presented in a logical and organized manner There are no formal and rigid rules regarding the contents of a BCP, but the BCP that have been produced to date by livestock keeping communities 18 have generally had the following format:
1. Description of the community • location and environment • history • customs, values and laws 2. Description of the animal genetic resources • special traits • cultural significance 3. Description of the community’s traditional knowledge • for management of animal genetic resources • for management of biodiversity in general 4. Statement on access and benefit sharing 5. Current and future threats and challenges 6. Call for action by policy-makers 7. Statement of commitment to protect biological diversity 8. Statement of the community’s rights according to international law http://www.pastoralpeoples.org/bioculturalprotocols.htm CGRFA/WG-AnGR-7/12/Inf.6 In addition, appendices with supporting information, such as detailed records of the biodiversity the community has developed, a bibliography and a description of the process used to prepare the BCP are often included.
Action 2. Write the BCP in a format and language appropriate for policy-makers, the primary target audience The BCP is recognized as a legal document, so its language must reflect this fact. It is for this reason that involvement of lawyers is a key aspect of preparing a BCP. The BCP must also be understood and approved by the community, so particular effort must be taken to explain the precise meaning of the final text to representatives of the community. Multiple versions of the BCP may be necessary, as the language used by the community may not be the official national language of the country.
Task 3. Publicize the BCP and distribute it to policy makers and other relevant stakeholders Action 1. Present the BCP to policy makers In order for the BCP to yield any effects, policy-makers have to be made aware of its existence. As a minimum, the BCP must be distributed to the relevant policy-makers. If possible, a more dynamic approach should be adopted, whereby representatives of the community and the facilitating organization meet face-to-face with the policy-makers.
Action 2. Promote the BCP to the general public In a democratic system, the government is supposed to act according to the will of the people.
Therefore, informing the public about the community, its way of life, its contribution to the maintenance of biodiversity, the challenges it faces and the BCP, may help to drive action by policy makers. The facilitating organization may be expected to play a major role in this activity.
Task 4. Foresee and make plans to avoid obstacles and problems in the development of the BCP Although BCP are intended to produce a positive impact on the community, the potential for negative consequences exist and care should be taken to ensure that problems do not occur.
Action 1. Facilitate, rather than push or drive the process of BCP development The facilitating organization must adhere to its role – facilitation. The process must be driven by the community, with guidance from outside when necessary. Some communities may be reluctant to publicize information about their customs and way of life. Biases must be avoided when writing the document.
Action 2. Guard against biopiracy Some communities may fear that increasing awareness of their animal genetic resources and their special traits will increase the chances that transnational companies or other external entities will attempt to reap financial benefits from these resources without equitably sharing the benefits. Such biopiracy has occurred with plant genetic resources. However, there is some doubt as to whether the same level of opportunities and interest exists in the case of animal genetic resources (Hoffmann, 2010). To help prevent such problems, material transfer agreements should be used to establish the terms for the use of any genetic material from the local animal genetic resources or indigenous knowledge that is distributed outside of the community. The rights of the community with respect to the animal genetic resources and knowledge should also be outlined in the BCP.
CGRFA/WG-AnGR-7/12/Inf.6 Improving management through extension activities and “role model breeders” programmes Rationale As described in Section 7, genetic improvement can improve a breed’s economic performance and thereby increase its competitiveness and its chances of survival. Genetic improvement is permanent and cumulative, but it is a multigenerational process and its benefits are felt only in the relatively long term. A complementary approach to help ensure the economic sustainability of a breed is to improve its management. Improved management can contribute greatly to improved production, and provides owners with enhanced economic return in the near term, helping them to maintain the breed until the effects of genetic improvement can be realized. Improvements to management should go along with breeding and genetic aspects of breed maintenance. However, it is important that any improvements introduced are appropriate to the economic, social, cultural and environmental constraints of the local situation. In most circumstances, duplicating a temperate-zone intensive-production model is either not possible or not sustainable. Extension activities are a very effective way to build livestock keepers’ capacity to improve the management of their animals, and can be implemented in cooperation with breeders’ associations.
Most breeds can benefit greatly from the contributions of a few “role model breeders”. Note that the particular name attached to the concept of a role model breeder varies in different countries and regions;
“master breeder”, for example, is another term that is occasionally used. In these guidelines, the term “role model breeder” is used to describe livestock keepers that have a great deal of indigenous knowledge that allows them to manage their animals well and to operate efficient breeding systems (see Box 58 for an example). Programmes that identify such individuals and then disseminate their knowledge and techniques are useful for all breeds. Role model breeders have expertise in both livestock management and genetic selection. This is important knowledge for future generations. It should be made available in a form that can be widely disseminated for the benefit of current and future breeders and of the breed itself.
Box The contribution of role model breeders to the revival of the “Heritage Turkey” in the United States of America The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy19 has countered the slow erosion of traditional breeding techniques with a role model breeders programme (called “Master Breeders”) that captures the knowledge and experience of these breeders. The first effort involved the production of non industrial “Heritage Turkeys”. Heritage Turkeys comprise a variety of locally adapted breeds of domestic turkey in the United States of America that retain various traditional characteristics that are no longer present in the modern commercial strains. Among these characteristics are the abilities to survive under extensive management conditions and to reproduce without the aid of AI. Turkey production in extensive settings was once common, but it is now a hard-to-find alternative to industrial production. As extensive systems declined in number, so too did the techniques used to raise turkeys, select breeding birds and ensure that production characteristics remained at a high level within the constraints of an extensive system.
Key breeders were identified and interviewed, and their techniques were then disseminated to a broad audience through a series of workshops held in different geographic regions. The programme has increased the number of Heritage Turkey breeders using time-tested selection techniques in their flocks. This has put the future of the heritage breeds on a firm footing based on their productive potential. Role model breeders are often also experts in marketing their breeding stock and the unique products of their animals.
Provided by Phil Sponenberg.
www.albc-usa.org CGRFA/WG-AnGR-7/12/Inf.6 Role model breeders combine both scientific knowledge and art, and their strategies come from years of careful observation and experience. Their techniques are often intuitive, so they can be difficult to quantify and document. A careful outside observer can help define a role model breeder’s practices so that others can benefit from the breeders’ years of experience.
Objective: To create strategies for benefiting from role model breeders and to disseminate their knowledge.
1. List of potential role model breeders.
• A compilation of role model breeders’ knowledge;
• A strategy for benefiting from role model breeders;
and • Learning materials for disseminating the role model breeders’ knowledge.
Task 1. Prepare an inventory of role model breeders’ knowledge and experience Action 1. Identify role model breeders Actively search for highly regarded breeders of each breed. Such breeders may be identifiable based on the performance of their animals or because of their reputation within the breeder community.
Therefore, relevant sources of information include performance records (assuming such a record keeping system exists) and surveys of breeders.
Action 2. Interview role model breeders carefully to fully discover the techniques and attitudes that lead to their success Observe role model breeders at work. Use this as an opportunity to uncover details that are second nature to the breeder and are among the keys to their success. Careful observation can tease out small details of management and selection.
Action 3. Document and define the role model breeders’ intuitive management techniques Role model breeders’ techniques will only benefit other breeders if they are communicated. In the past this was accomplished by one generation working closely with the previous generation. However, transgenerational succession in livestock keeping is becoming increasingly uncommon and is not applicable for broader extension activities that need to reach a large audience. Documenting role model breeders’ methods so that they can be communicated to others helps to bridge this gap. Special attention should be paid to facilities for keeping animals and animal-handling techniques.
Action 4. Document and define the role model breeders’ intuitive selection criteria Selection decisions are usually based on techniques that have proven valuable over many years. Some techniques may appear illogical, but nonetheless produce valuable results in the population. Such techniques should be documented for present and future generations. Note what traits are being measured or noticed, and what consequences these have for production or viability.
Task 2. Disseminate the role model breeders’ knowledge and encourage its application Action 1. Make the information obtained from the role model breeders widely available Tools for disseminating role model breeders’ knowledge can include handbooks, educational books, brochures, web sites, seminars and workshops. Workshops and field days can be particularly helpful as they can bring people into direct contact with role model breeders, thus creating opportunities for future networking, and can reinforce the transmission of ideas and techniques on animal improvement. In many instances, knowledge that is transferred first-hand through visual means and hands-on experience will be retained more readily than knowledge gained from reading or attending a lecture or presentation.
Action 2. Reward or otherwise recognize role model breeders for their contributions Most role model breeders do what they do through their own initiative, either for personal satisfaction and/or to make their animals more productive and profitable, and thus do not necessarily expect to be rewarded for their actions. Nevertheless, they may appreciate formal acknowledgement of their activities and contributions to breed conservation. Many breeders’ associations have annual award programmes to CGRFA/WG-AnGR-7/12/Inf.6 recognize outstanding breeders. Certain countries offer similar awards to people that make particular contributions to the conservation of local breeds. An example from India is given in Box 59.
Box The Breed Saviour Award in India India is the putative centre of domestication for various livestock species and home to many animal and plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. Therefore, conservation of these resources is a national priority. To help aid the in situ conservation of livestock breeds, in 2007 the LIFE Network (Local Livestock for Empowerment of Rural People), a group of NGOs, proposed the idea of introducing "Breed Saviour Awards" to recognize individual livestock keepers or whole communities that make notable efforts to conserve and improve local livestock breeds. In 2010, this concept was endorsed by world-renowned plant breeder Dr M.S. Swaminathan. The Breed Saviour Awards programme is now being implemented annually by SEVA (Sustainable-agriculture and Environmental Voluntary Action) in collaboration with the LIFE Network, and it is supported by the National Biodiversity Authority. The award comprises a prize of 10 000 rupees and a special certificate. It is given annually to at least 20 honourees. Profiles of past winners can be viewed at http://www.sevango.in/breedkeepers.php. The profiles present examples of role model breeders who initiated their breed conservation efforts on their own, often improving their livelihoods as well.
Provided by Sabyasachi Das.
Award programmes can be beneficial not only in rewarding existing role model breeders for their contributions to breed sustainability, but also in encouraging novice breeders to apply their techniques and become role model breeders of the future.
Opportunities for conserving breeds through niche market production Rationale Worldwide there are several examples of breeds that produce high quality and distinctive products with the products contributing to effective breed conservation. Efforts to enhance the value of breed-specific products are as valid as efforts to enhance levels of production in a breed and may be a more realistic scenario for breeds of species where a few extremely productive breeds dominate the market. When breed-specific products obtain a premium in the marketplace the result is increased monetary return to producers, with an associated increase in breed security. In some cases, enhanced value is due to a unique product, in others it is due to increased appeal from to being able to buy a locally-grown product.
Niche marketing can be ideal for certain situations if the products are marketed in a way that emphasizes traditional techniques and local ties (LPP et al., 2010). Such efforts can involve existing traditional products and can also include newly developed products with unique characteristics.
These efforts can help local breeds that have somewhat less productive potential to compete with common international transboundary breeds that have been intensely selected to generate high yields of mainstream commodities (see Box 60). Promotion comes from consideration and attention to the uniqueness of breed-specific products. Breed-specific products can have broad appeal to consumers that are interested in regional products and can be especially important in safeguarding local animal genetic resources that are firmly tied and readily identified with a specific region.
Breed-specific promotions present a host of challenges as well as opportunities (LPP et al., 2010).
Challenges include the fact that the targeted breeds may lack recognition, and their products may be available in such low quantities that marketing is difficult because of uneven or sporadic availability.
Organizing local producers can be a hurdle that is difficult to overcome, and making links to a stable ongoing market can be problematic. In most situations, the process will be most successful if led by a “champion”, a person or organization with a special interest in promoting the niche-marketing enterprise and making sure it works. On the positive side, local products often have some unique quality that can provide the basis for a marketing campaign. Highlighting the local character of such products CGRFA/WG-AnGR-7/12/Inf.6 and their producers can have a very beneficial effect in the local area. It focuses attention on local genetic resources and local traditions and thereby works to save both. Benefits accrue locally, and increase overall local economic capacity.
Box Heritage Turkeys cut across ethnic and religious boundaries in United States of America A very successful example of promotion in the United States of America has involved several traditional turkey varieties raised in traditional systems. This promotional effort contrasts these “Heritage Turkeys” with the more common (and inexpensive) industrially produced birds. One of the more important unifying cultural events in the United States of America is Thanksgiving Day, a celebration held in late November that involves a celebratory meal. This meal has traditionally involved consumption of turkey and associated side dishes, and is a celebration that cuts across ethnic and religious boundaries in the United States of America. Nearly everyone participates, and it is, in a very real sense, the one focused celebration that is common to nearly the entire country.
The significance of turkey as part of the celebratory Thanksgiving Day meal has made it possible to promote traditionally raised, Heritage Turkey varieties for consumption at this one feast. Though the cost of the heritage birds may outstrip commercially produced birds by up to ten times, the demand for the heritage birds is currently so high that it goes unmet. The demand for adult birds has also dramatically increased the demand for poults of these varieties, which has in turn allowed hatcheries greatly to increase the size of their breeding flocks. The increased demand has reversed the trend that seemed to be leading to the certain extinction of many of these varieties. This reversal has been directly related to the promotion of a specific product, raised in a specific way, for a specific feast.
This is all the more remarkable because the demand for the Heritage Turkeys is miniscule when compared to the millions of industrially produced birds consumed on Thanksgiving Day. Increasing the size of breeding flocks has also increased the interest of breeders in traditional techniques of bird evaluation and selection. Through this, the previously successful practices of the early and mid 1900s have been recaptured from a very nearly complete loss.
Provided by Phil Sponenberg.
Focusing on breed-specific products has the advantage of providing a reasonably secure market niche for a breed’s unique capabilities. In many situations this requires a market with the potential to value uniqueness over more standardized commodities, and cash-strapped societies are less likely than more affluent ones to be able to afford this relative luxury. While this is generally the case, it also remains true that traditional products can and do find increased demand even in societies in which disposable income is minimal. The price differential for the preferred local products can often provide enough economic advantage to help the breeders of the animals that produce them. As incomes rise and disposable income becomes more available, these traditional products can gain an increasingly large share of the total market.
Objective: To develop a business plan for marketing high-quality products from a breed targeted for conservation.
1. A “champion” who will lead the niche-marketing process;
2. A list of the unique characteristics of the breed to be conserved;
3. Knowledge of the potential interest of consumers in buying niche products;
and 4. Awareness of constraints to developing and marketing niche products.
• A list of potential niche products from the breed. This will usually include traditional products as well as more innovative and creative new products;
and • A plan for marketing the products.
Task 1. Create a list of potential products and services obtainable from the breed, and prioritize these for feasibility in under the constraints of the production and marketing environment CGRFA/WG-AnGR-7/12/Inf.6 Action 1. List the characteristics of the breed that could possibly be exploited by marketing Activities described in Sections 1 to 3 will provide the basis for identifying and developing niche products. The special traits of the breed and its products will have been identified through this characterization process. This information may be augmented by conducting additional surveys of key breeders and other livestock keepers, potential customers and other members of the value chain such as processors, manufacturers and marketers. Box 61 explains how keepers of a Mexican sheep breed capitalized on the special characteristics of its wool.
Box Exploiting fleece helps to safeguard sheep breeds – Chiapas, Mexico Shepherdesses in Chiapas, Mexico, raise sheep that have specific fleece characteristics that have traditionally been important in the production of local textiles. Thanks to programmes that drew on the input and participation of the shepherdesses, these fleece characteristics have been incorporated into breeding programmes. The result has been that the sheep have become more appreciated, their populations have risen and their owners have become more dedicated to their conservation.
Source: Perezgrovas (1999).
Action 2. Identify markets for the breed-specific products A complement to Action 1 is to identify potential markets. Market identification can also be done prior to identifying the particular products. Box 62 shows an example of how a new market was found for an existing product.
Box Marketing handicrafts made from Linca sheep wool in Patagonia, Argentina The Linca sheep of the Patagonia region of Argentina is an endangered breed of coarse-wool sheep that has traditionally been used for the manufacture of distinctive ponchos and other textiles. A producers’ cooperative has now targeted these distinctive products for promotion to the tourists that come to the picturesque region in which the breed is found. This has greatly increased the value of the raw wool. It has also provided work in the local community for the shearers, spinners and weavers needed to ensure a supply of the distinctive textiles.
Source: LPP et al. (2010).
Although preparing a product for a single marketing outlet may be a logical first-step, sales may be more robust and resistant to variability if multiple markets are found. Multiple marketing outlets can also account for variability, for example, in the production systems of the various breeders or in the quality of the product. Box 63 describes the multi-outlet system used for marketing meat from the White Park breed of cattle in the United Kingdom.
Action 3. Conduct a workshop at which stakeholders from all stages of the production and marketing chain come together to creatively formulate potential plans Relevant stakeholders usually include producers (farmers and pastoralists), nutritionists, retailers, butchers, food manufacturers, cooks, consumers, marketers and craftspeople. Inviting a wide range of stakeholders to the workshop should it to produce an extensive list of products and services that could potentially be marketed to niche consumers.
Action 4. Prioritize the products and services that can be obtained from the breed, targeting a few of the best ones for production and promotions Various factors may influence the potential of a niche product to support breed conservation. Highest priority should be given to any products that already have a recognized place in the market that can realistically be expanded (either more sales or higher prices or both) through more promotion. This approach is called “market penetration” and is usually the simplest and most successful strategy.
CGRFA/WG-AnGR-7/12/Inf.6 Another relatively safe strategy is to seek the spread of an existing product into new markets, thus increasing total revenues. The most risky strategy is to develop entirely new products. This approach requires both product and market development. Box 64 shows how this somewhat risky strategy can produce high rewards for breed conservation.
Box White Park cattle – a case study in meat marketing in the United Kingdom White Park cattle are a native British breed classified as being at risk of extinction. The population comprises 900 breeding cows, 73 breeding bulls (65 natural service and 8 AI) plus young stock.
They are kept in 81 herds, which are widespread throughout the United Kingdom. They are adapted to extensive grazing systems and have special value for use in conservation grazing projects.
Non-breeding stock are reared in non-intensive systems, ideally finished off grass, and are usually slaughtered at 30 to 36 months of age at about 580 kg to yield a carcase of about 325 kg. Breeders have two main options for marketing and to realize a better price:
1. Direct sale from the breeder or owner to a premium market. White Park beef is noted for its high-quality (especially flavour and marbling) which has been noted since at least the early seventeenth century when King James I of England renamed the loin “Sir Loin”. White Park beef enjoys strong demand from the gourmet market of hotels, restaurants and specialist retailers (often in London, but also elsewhere) and can command a premium price of more than twice the standard market price.
2. Marketing through the Traditional Breeds Meat Marketing Scheme, which was created in the United Kingdom, in 1994, by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. Traditional Breeds Meat Marketing is a multibreed organization that accepts only animals belonging to endangered breeds. It enables breeders and owners who do not have the confidence or ability to supply the gourmet market to obtain a premium price (25 percent above standard market price) by taking advantage of a structure of finishing units, local abattoirs and specialist retail butchers, all approved by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.
Breeders without access to either of these two special markets are forced to sell to the standard commodity market, with sale through public auction. Public auctions cater to the mass market and are attended by buyers who purchase mainstream breeds of livestock. Endangered breeds do not conform to standard requirements and attract a price below the standard market price.
Provided by Lawrence Alderson.
Box Desert Dessert ice cream helps to conserve Raika camels in India The conservation of Raika camels in India has involved production and marketing of one fairly obvious commodity, ice cream made from their milk. Creative marketing came up with the name “Desert Dessert” for this distinctive product. As the breed has always been used for milk production, this product is an extension of its traditional use. In addition, creative efforts at new product development have used manure from the breed in paper making, which is then used to manufacture greeting cards. This unusual product has met with demand that far exceeded expectations. Production tends always to lag behind demand. Both of these products – one more traditional, one very novel – have increased the economic return to the pastoralists stewarding the breed. This has made the breed and traditional systems in which it is kept much more secure.
Source: www.lpps.org CGRFA/WG-AnGR-7/12/Inf.6 Task 2. Evaluate the feasibility of using niche products to support the conservation of a breed Action 1. Write a business plan and organize a short production and marketing chain for each product Consult an economics or business expert who can help formulate a business plan and map out the market chain. This will also require collaboration with other stakeholders along the proposed market chain. To be successful in marketing a specialized product from a specific breed, it will be necessary to distinguish it from the standard products in the marketplace that can be produced by mainstream breeds. This requirement must be considered in the business planning. Distinguishing a product can be approached in four ways: product, price, place and promotion, also known as the “four Ps” or the “market mix”. A common strategy is to market a breed-based product by focusing on its higher quality (or at least the perception that it has higher quality) or its distinctive taste or appearance. An example is presented in Box 65. Direct marketing can yield multiple benefits. It can “cut out the middleman”, increasing the margin of the sale returned to the livestock keeper and perhaps increasing the loyalty of customers who want to be sure about the source of their food. Promotion is an essential part of niche marketing. The entire business plan will likely be based on reaching new customers that may not be aware of the positive characteristics of the breed-based product.
Box Marketing rose veal from Randall Lineback cattle in the United States of America Randall Lineback cattle in the United States of America are an old, triple-purpose (milk, meat, draught) breed that came to be at risk of extinction because of its inability to compete with specialist dairy and beef breeds. Its meat and milk production levels are such that competition in mainstream commodities is unlikely to succeed as a strategy for ensuring the security of the breed. Therefore, Randall Lineback breeders sought to establish and market a distinct, higher-value product. Creative promotion of “rose veal” (meat from yearling animals) has established a ready market for this product in restaurants. The premium that is obtained contributes to the economic return obtained by the producers.
Provided by Phil Sponenberg.
Action 2. Undertake a formal analysis of the business plan and potential market Formulation of the business and marketing plan should be followed by a market survey and feasibility analysis. Establishing a niche market will require investment in both time and money. One-time costs will be incurred in preparation of the marketing plan and marketing will require continuing expenditures. Market research will provide some insight into whether customer demand will be sufficient to enable the investments to be recouped.
Action 3. Produce a relatively small amount of the product and market it on an experimental basis Even if the business plan and market analysis suggest that the planned niche marketing scheme is highly likely to be profitable, it may be prudent to start cautiously. For breeds with a low population size, starting on a small scale may be necessary. If the marketing programme is supported by outside investors, these investors may want to see some return on their investment before supporting scaling up.
Action 4. Evaluate sales and increase production according to market demand An objective of almost any in vivo conservation programme will be to increase both the real and the effective population sizes so that the breed is no longer at risk of extinction. Niche marketing plans will have to evolve and grow in concert with the size of the breed population. This may involve simply selling more product in the same market, expanding into new markets, creating new products or any combination of these options. Care must be taken, however, to ensure that expanding the market does not affect the factors that made the product attractive in the first place (e.g. quality and distinctiveness) and that the market can handle any increased demand without negative effects on the price.
CGRFA/WG-AnGR-7/12/Inf.6 Enhancing the value of existing niche products through ties to geographical origin or cultural significance Rationale In many cases it may not be immediately obvious which specific characteristics of the breed have the potential to be used in the development of high-quality products for niche markets. In such cases, a study should be carried out to determine which characteristics are relevant. In other instances, breed related products may already exist, but not yet be exploited fully. One factor that can be important for marketing is the uniqueness of the product, particularly with respect to its place of origin (see Box 66).
Box The role of qualification labels for regional products Tregear et al. (2007) concluded that qualification processes may bring socio-economic benefits to rural areas. These may play a role in linking local and non-local actors and the non-local actors can bring extra revenues in the local area. Qualification labels, like Protected Designation of Origin (PDOs) and Protected Geographical Indications (PGIs) are market mechanisms, information signals used by producers to stimulate favourable consumer responses, particularly when consumers are faced with choosing between products within the same category. Tregear et al. (2007) further argue that specification and labelling of a product raises its market profile and distinguishes it from competing items. Qualified producers of the regional product distinguish themselves from others by following a defined code of practice that attains certain standards or quality levels, for which consumers are willing to pay a premium. An example of existing qualification labelling is the labelling of organic products based on the control of the organic production methods and principles.
In many rural areas of Europe regional foods with a strong historic background are produced and marketed in niche markets. To safeguard production in rural areas and to protect the products of rural producers the European Economic Community made regulation 2081/92. The focus is in regulation 2081/92 offering PDOs and PGIs. For PDOs, products must have quality characteristics from the local area, while for PGIs products have a specific quality attributable to the local area (Tregear et al., 2007). These protection tools are already in place to improve the profitability of local breeds. For example, in the French Northern Alps the milk of Abondance and Tarentaise cattle breeds is used for the production of Reblochon and Beaufort cheeses and in Italy the Reggiana cattle breed produces the milk for the processing of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (Gandini & Oldenbroek, 2007). The interest in Europe (and overseas) for regional products has fostered the success of organizations such as Slow Food 20 that help promote the potential benefits of their consumption.
Van der Meulen (2007) developed a methodological tool to evaluate the contribution of various factors to the connectedness of food products to their places of origin. Four factors can be distinguished:
Territoriality refers to “the degree of physical connection between a product and its region of origin”.
All the phases in the supply chain – production, processing, distribution, etc. – are taken into account, i.e. if all these take place in the region of origin, the territoriality is considered to be particularly high.
Typicity refers to “place-specific peculiarities of the production process and the final product”. Put another way, these are “the physical aspects that distinguish the production process and the final product in as far as they are unique or logically linked to the place of origin” Traditionality refers to the “rootedness of... [a product’s]... history in its place of origin”. The most concrete aspect of traditionality is the length of time that has elapsed since the product first appeared in the region. Other elements include links to local culture and history.
Communality refers to “shared experience and practices, reflected in the presence of multiple producers (farmers, processors) and their collaboration”. It is considered that such links strengthen the impression that the product is part of a shared local culture.
http://www.slowfood.com CGRFA/WG-AnGR-7/12/Inf.6 The market value of products that target niche markets based on geographical origin, are affected by all four factors. Labelling schemes (see Box 67) can help ensure that the producers of unique products are able to benefit from the premium prices that niche-market customers are willing to pay.
Box Marketing products on the basis of their place of origin Many consumers value information about the place of origin of their food. Certain products are perceived favourably by consumers because of the products’ places of origin. This favourable perception can arise for a number of reasons. For example, linking a product to a region renders it unique. Furthermore, the link often involves a region with an existing positive reputation for its natural beauty or interesting cultural heritage. Many consumers also like to buy products from local sources, to support the local economy and reduce environmental impacts associated with transport.
Van der Meulen (2007), describing the situation in the Netherlands, notes that such products fall within a number of different categories:
Farmhouse origin food products. These are offered in farm shops, gift baskets, box schemes and specialized food stores.
Farmers-group origin food products. These come from a group of farmers producing and selling food, working with codes of practice and with registered geographical names and logos as collective trademarks.
Region-label origin food products. Several products may be sold under the same single label. The raw materials may come from several farms in that area, and products are usually made by single producers.
Regional-typical origin food products. For these there are multiple producers, with a product related geographical delimitation, a long lasting tradition over generations and a distinctive production process and final product. The raw material does not always come from the traditional production area.
Artisanal origin food products. These are produced by small-scale individual food producers and the product is named after the place where they are located or the producer involved. The emphasis is on the processing techniques and not on the origin of the raw material.
Appropriated origin food products. These are former regional-typical origin food products that have become appropriated by a single company either because other producers have gone out of business or because of mergers.
The distance between the farm of origin and the consumer varies greatly. The methods of processing likewise vary from simple to complicated. These differences give rise to the need for qualification labels that guarantee the origin of the food and the location and methods of production and processing.
In some regions, mostly in developed countries, rarity in and of itself can give a breed a value in the eyes of some breeders or potential breeders. If a breed that has a strong regional identity faces the risk of extinction, both local residents and outside visitors may be attracted to the idea of keeping and conserving it. This can greatly facilitate the maintenance of the breed. However, developments of this kind can create challenges. For example, the selection environment of the breed may change, especially if keeping it becomes merely a hobby activity for relatively wealthy people that don’t rely on the breed for their livelihood. Changes in the selection environment can be especially important if dictated by competitive showing or exhibitions. Animal selection by breeder groups with an eye for traditional type can be an effective countermeasure against the tendency for type to shift over time.
Another way to improve the value of the products obtained from a breed is to adopt or promote a production system that deviates clearly from mainstream production and is clearly defined: for example, organic production (see Box 68).
CGRFA/WG-AnGR-7/12/Inf.6 Box Doubling the price of Drenthe Heath lambs in the Netherlands The Drenthe Heath sheep arrived in the northeast part of the Netherlands 6 000 years ago. They were kept and survived on this region’s infertile sandy heathlands. Through adaptation and natural selection the Drenthe Heath sheep became a rather small animal with sturdy legs and low fleshiness.
As a result, the carcass weight and the meat-to-bone ratio are low relative to standard meat-sheep breeds. It is the only Dutch sheep breed with horns. Nowadays the flocks are primarily used for nature management. They are guided by shepherds, a sight that tourists visiting the area find very appealing. Approximately 2 000 ewes are registered in the Drenthe Heath Sheep Herdbook.
Recently a group of three flocks has started to market their lambs as Drnts Heidelaom, an organic product. The lambs are produced in a well-defined market chain. This doubled the price the shepherd got for lambs, relative to the anonymous lamb market.
The production chain was set up as follows: First, the organic management of the flock and the organic growing of the lambs until slaughter were organized. These management practices are controlled and verified by Skal 21, the Netherland’s official certification and inspection body for organic production. Second, a small local abattoir was contracted to slaughter the lambs in the most humane manner possible. Third, arrangements were made for the carcasses to be transported and sold to a specialized butcher producing organic lamb chops, ham of lamb and lamb sausages. These products are sold by the butcher at organic farmers’ markets in cities in the western part of the Netherlands. Fourth, together with the Foundation for Conservation of the Drenthe Heath Sheep, the Slow Food organization in the Netherlands was consulted. Because of the special natural management and nutrition of the sheep and lambs, Drenthe Heath lamb has a special “wild” taste.
Because of this and the cultural–historic significance of the sheep and the product, Drenthe Heath lamb was recognized in the Ark of Taste by the Slow Food organization. Fifth, arrangements were made for collaboration among flocks and this resulted in a “Presidium” of the Slow Food organization: Drenthe Heath Lamb or in the language of the region Drnts Heidelaom. A “Presidium” is a small project to support groups that champion the production and marketing of an artisan food that addresses economic, environmental, cultural and/or social objectives that are considered favourable by the Slow Food organization.
Provided by Kor Oldenbroek.
1. Knowledge of a breed’s distinctive products, production process and roles;
and 2. Awareness of current marketing systems and their potential to enhance the value of breed specific products.
Output: A plan to enhance the value of the high-quality products of a breed.
Task. Formulate opportunities to enhance the value of the high-quality products of a breed Action 1. Describe the products of the breed, the markets available for them and any other relevant information, including special traditions or existing trademarks A detailed evaluation of the products of the local breed(s) of interest must be undertaken. This activity should not be limited to the target breed itself. It should also include products from other breeds that compete for market share. Where competing products exist, the relative value and advantages and disadvantages of each must be considered. In some cases, the evaluation will have to consider several products from the same breed (see Box 69). In such cases, the appropriate strategy may be to concentrate on one of the products or to treat all the products as a single package of goods.
http://www.skal.nl/english/tabid/103/language/nl-nl/default.aspx CGRFA/WG-AnGR-7/12/Inf.6 Box Chilota sheep offer various marketing opportunities in Chile The Chilota sheep descends from Iberian sheep breeds introduced into the Chilo Archipelago of Chile by the Spanish conquerors. This animal is characterized by its multicoloured fleece and small body size. It can be found with or without horns. The breed has a high potential for dairy production, being genetically close to the Spanish Castellana and Churra breeds. The breed population is distributed throughout the 26 islands of the Archipelago. The coloured wool is used by local craftswomen and the lambs are a renowned gastronomic product of the islands. The Chilota has now been officially registered as a breed in Chile and a pedigree registration programme has recently been launched, with 1 200 animals registered in about 25 farms. Research programmes on the rusticity of this breed, particularly with regard to its ability to adapt to harsh nutritional and environmental conditions, are currently being developed by the Chilean Government.
Provided by Ignacio Garcia Leon and Pascalle Renee Ziomi Smith.
Action 2. Assign a score for each factor (quality, distinctiveness, access to markets) to each product Each product must be evaluated objectively for issues of quality and distinctiveness that will lead to enhanced demand. In addition, the supply must be evaluated to ensure that any potential market demand can be met.
Action 3. Describe the opportunities to enhance the scores for the different factors For each product, propose options that will enhance quality, distinctiveness, or market access. For example, collaboration with restaurants or speciality food stores can improve market access. Linking other roles of the breed, such as ecosystem services (see below), may improve the marketability of a food product. Promotion of gender equity may be possible if the value chain is structured in a way that is particularly beneficial to women. Use of voluntary private standards may be a valuable option. For example, establishing standards for animal feeding (e.g. emphasis on pasture rather than stored feeds) may improve the product quality or give it a distinctive taste. Standards for animal husbandry may allow for the promotion of products on the basis of good animal welfare.
Action 4. Develop plans to enhance the value of the products through manufacture, trademarking or marketing This phase of the planning will probably involve interaction with people that have special expertise in production and marketing. Preferably they should have a particular appreciation of local and unique aspects of products and their manufacture. Many niche market animal products have a unique history or other feature of human interest. Promotion of the “story” behind the product is a way to distinguish it in the marketplace (see Box 70). In marketing terminology, these characteristic aspects of the product underlie its “unique selling position” (USP), the factors which will ideally lead a customer to choose the product over a competing option.
An additional, more formal option is to develop a trademark or use special labelling to differentiate the product in the market place and provide a level of assurance with regard to its quality. Developing a label or trademark can be time-consuming and costly and requires particular expertise. Therefore, collaboration with a third-party (such as a specialized NGO – see Box 71) that performs this task for multiple stakeholders can provide cost-savings and increase effectiveness. Consumer awareness of the label will also probably be greater if there are more products in the marketplace carrying the same label (at least up to a certain point, beyond which the distinctiveness will be lost). Labelling and certification by an independent third-party may increase the consumers’ confidence in the validity of the process.
CGRFA/WG-AnGR-7/12/Inf.6 Box Marketing products from Serbian sheep based on links to traditional livelihoods The Karakachan and Pirot are among the most endangered sheep breeds in Serbia and the Balkan region. Whereas tens of thousands of these sheep roamed the West Stara Planina mountainsides in the 1950s, their numbers have dwindled to fewer than 200 animals from each breed today.
Conservation of these breeds is important to safeguard a cultural monument that developed over hundreds of years and animal genetic resource that has good resistance to harsh conditions and local diseases, an aesthetic shape and modest needs in terms of production inputs. The wool of these sheep breeds has extraordinary thermo-isolation characteristics, as well as fibre firmness that differentiates them from the other sheep breeds. To take advantage of these factors to promote the survival of the breeds, the breeders’ association “STADO” developed a programme for processing the wool and marketing hand-knitted clothing (e.g. socks, jackets, cardigans, sweater vests and ponchos). These products are made using 100 percent wool in its natural colour (dark brown from the Karakachan breed and white from the Pirot breed). Marketing programmes inform potential customers that they are not only supporting the initiative to preserve these endangered sheep breeds but are also ensuring the livelihoods of the households engaged in breeding and maintaining the sheep flocks and shearing, washing, spinning and knitting the wool.
Provided by Sergej Ivanov.
The process of developing a label through a third party will typically include the following phases:
• The relevant product or service is identified and documented, and the information is provided to the certification service.
• The certification service tests the suitability of the product or service against the criteria established for the use of the label.
o If some criteria are not fulfilled, a plan should be drawn up to ensure that they can be fulfilled.
• Once all criteria are fulfilled a contract is signed for the use to the label.
• The stakeholders (farmers, breeders’ association, NGO, etc.) work with experts to develop the USP of the product/service, usually giving particular consideration to its history, culture and geographic origin. The risk status of the breed may also contribute to the USP, as customers may react positively to purchasing a product if it helps prevent a breed from becoming extinct.
• The product is launched, usually locally at targeted sites, such as farmers’ markets and specialty stores, using promotional material, press releases, meet-the-farmer events, etc.
Emphasis is given to the USP.
• A percentage of the profit obtained from selling the product is used to pay for the use of the label.
The SAVE Foundation 22, an international NGO that acts as an umbrella organization for European associations working for the conservation of agrobiodiversity, has recently developed both a label for products and an award system for producers that work with local breeds and crop varieties (Box 72).
http://www.save-foundation.net CGRFA/WG-AnGR-7/12/Inf.6 Box Heritaste® and Arca-Deli® - two options for adding value to agrobiodiversity Heritaste® is a voluntary certification verified by a third party and awarded by SAVE Foundation to farmers and producers who wish to add value to their products through extra labelling. Heritaste® guarantees that the product comes from breeds and varieties considered to be a part of the local cultural heritage and in need of promotion in order to secure their conservation. Products range from meat and dairy products through to clothing and carpets. Services include extensive grazing of protected areas as well as therapies and tourist attractions. Producers pay for the right to display the Heritaste® label, to cover the costs of the development and certification activities.
The process of development from an initial idea to a usable label was long and complex. Not only was it necessary to establish and agree upon criteria and conditions for use, but also factors such as the cost of certification, and the extent of interest from consumers and producers/farmers had to be researched extensively. In addition, various definitions had to be established for terms and concepts that may seem obvious to people working in the field but are quite obscure to the laypersons that are the final consumer of the labelled products. This process took the form of many discussions with stakeholders and a public consultation. The resulting label reflects the needs and wishes of all the stakeholders wishing to make use of the label.
The Arca-Deli® Awards are presented annually (starting in 2011) to products and services of locally adapted livestock breeds and cultivated plants. The award is presented to products and services seen as being recommendable as a model or example of good practice. The Arca-Deli Award® label can then be used on the labelling of products and services as a means of adding value.
Arca-Deli® provides a good alternative for farmers and producers who cannot afford or do not require a Heritaste® certificate. The award can be valuable especially in local markets and encourages other farmers and producers to improve the quality of their own products and services.
This means that the niche products associated with locally adapted breeds and varieties become, on a small scale, more competitive and more economically viable.
For more information see http://www.save-foundation.net/english/market.htm Provided by SAVE Foundation.
Exploiting the roles of species and breeds in providing ecosystem services Rationale In many parts of the world, traditional grazing with herbivores created and maintained ecosystems with high biological value (for a review on effects of grazing on biodiversity see Rook et al., 2004).
Similarly, many landscapes have been shaped through time by traditional farming systems. The results of such co-evolution processes between local breeds, traditional framing systems and the natural environment retain their character and richness as long as grazing is maintained. In countries with intensive agricultural systems, some arable land is set aside and not used for agriculture. If no additional measures are taken, these lands will become forests within a foreseeable time span. If conversion to forest is not desirable, grazing by herbivores can maintain an open landscape. In many countries cattle, sheep, goats and horses are used to maintain grasslands, wetlands and heathlands.
Even pigs can perform environmental services (see Box 73).
Livestock species differ in their grazing behaviour, and there are even differences between breeds within a species (Saether et al., 2006). The choice of the species and the breeds for use in conservation grazing should be carefully adjusted to meet the required grazing effects. The animals should also have appropriate physiological characteristics (robustness), especially if they are to be used in harsh environments. Ecosystem services such as conservation grazing often involve large areas of land. This means that a large number of animals are required and offers great opportunities for conserving herbivore breeds.
CGRFA/WG-AnGR-7/12/Inf.6 Box Macedonian autochthonous pigs help maintain biodiversity Traditional pig husbandry in Bosnia-Herzegovina and The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is important for reasons beyond meat production. The traditional production system involves free range grazing, and the local pigs are appreciated for their digging activities, which keep the ground open. When pigs root to find buried food they act like living ploughs. They are especially valuable for soil management in floodplains, where the soil can become hard and compacted once the floodwaters recede. The shallow digging aerates the soil and encourages the natural biodiversity. The hoof imprints promote the germination of seeds. The microhabitats created encourage the growth of insects, which serve as a link in a food chain that includes a wide range of other fauna.
Provided by Elli Broxham.
When livestock have grazed a given ecosystem for many generations, the animal genetic resources and the other components of the ecosystem (i.e. plants, wild animals and micro-organisms) will have evolved together and have become dependent on one another. Loss of one component of the ecosystem, such as a breed that goes extinct for economic reasons, may upset the balance among the remaining components, leading to their loss or a decline in their abundance (Gregory et al., 2010).
Payments to livestock keepers to ensure that their animals continue to providing their unique ecosystem services may be justifiable from the perspective of biodiversity conservation.
Although ruminant livestock produce large quantities of methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change, grazing livestock also help sequester carbon by removing plant material and encouraging regrowth and thus the movement of carbon from the air into soil organic matter (Leibig et al., 2010). Assuming that locally adapted animal genetic resources are more appropriate grazers than their non-adapted counterparts, payment for the carbon sequestered could be an additional justification for public support for their in situ conservation.
Objective: To determine the opportunities for using species and breeds in nature management.
1. Requirements for species and breeds in nature management and relevant characteristics in species and breeds.
• A list of species and breeds that may be used in nature management.
Task. Select species and breeds for nature management Action 1. Interview the stakeholders involved in nature management and formulate a plan for nature management with herbivores The livestock keepers may not be the owners of the land on which nature management is needed.
Discussions should be held with all types of stakeholders to develop a feasible plan for nature management using controlled grazing.
Action 2. Describe the grazing behaviour of species (and breeds if relevant) Collect information on relevant characteristics of species and breeds. Pay special attention to adaptive traits that enable the animals to flourish in harsh environments. Take particular note of documented evidence of specific breeds’ adaptations to specific environments and of existing nature management roles for which livestock keepers are currently not being compensated. Box 74 provides an example of a special adaptation found in Criollo cattle in Colombia.
CGRFA/WG-AnGR-7/12/Inf.6 Box Use of Criollo cattle for weed control in Colombia Paspalum virgatum, commonly referred to as “maciega” in Colombia (known as “talzequal” and “paja cabezona” in other countries), is a grass that thrives in the humid tropics. Its nutritional value is low, as is its palatability. The mature grass is coarse and fibrous. It is abrasive to the mouths of most cattle and is therefore usually consumed only during the early stages of its growth. For these reasons, maciega is commonly considered a weed. Furthermore, its seeds are particularly viable, so it is highly invasive and difficult to eradicate via conventional means.
However, not all cattle refuse to consume maciega. The local Criollo cattle have adapted to grazing on lower-quality forages and will consume maciega throughout its life cycle. The best-documented example of this trait is in the Velasquez cattle, which is actually a synthetic Criollo breed developed at the Hacienda Africa in the central Magdalena Valley of Colombia. The ability of the Velasquez to consume maciega precludes the need for its control with expensive, and largely ineffective, herbicides. This saves money and avoids damage to the local plant and micro-organism biodiversity.
Source: Martinez Correal (2007).
In general, the possible benefits of grazing livestock on wild biodiversity and carbon sequestration have not been well-researched, especially with regard to variability in the benefits provided by different livestock breeds. Such research may be a priority for governments considering paying livestock keepers for ecosystem services or to establishing support for carbon sequestration and or penalties for greenhouse gas production.
Action 3. Match the requirements with the relevant information on the species and the breeds Decide which species and breeds might be effective in nature management. A nature management plan should be drawn up, including stocking rates and seasonal variation in pasture production and the life cycles of the local wild plants and animals.
Action 4. Write an action plan on how to incorporate species and breeds into nature management and how to make this profitable Income from nature management is often realized through government-sponsored conservation programmes. In some countries, such programmes already exist and the only need is to enrol in the programme. In other countries, such programmes would need to be created and adopted, which would require lobbying of policy-makers and subsequent development of a fair and effective system of payment for ecosystem service.
Private landowners may be willing to pay for weed control or pasture restoration or provide low-cost access to grazing land. Meat and milk produced from the animals may have a distinctive and favourable taste that results from the grazing of particular plants. These products may thus have an added value that could be exploited in niche markets.
It should be emphasized that population sizes larger than those described in Section 2 as being necessary to reduce genetic erosion and extinction risk may be needed to guarantee the provision of ecosystem services. For example, a few herds might not be sufficient to maintain agro-ecosystems such as the Dehesa in Spain (associated with farming of the Iberian pig) or summer Alpine pastures in Europe (associated with farming of some cattle breeds). This needs to be considered when developing a plan to exploit ecosystem services in breed conservation. Breeders’ associations or other groups negotiating terms for ecosystem services need to consider the capacity of the services that their breed can provide, both in the present and in the future, considering current population sizes and expected survival and reproductive rates. Unfortunately, information on the effects of number of herds, animals and their distribution on the maintenance of environmental values is not widely available, so a site specific investigation is likely to be needed. New research on this topic is therefore welcome.
CGRFA/WG-AnGR-7/12/Inf.6 Capitalizing on the potential societal and cultural functions of species and breeds in tourism and social events Rationale Some breeds in need of conservation fulfil several services that may be poorly recognized or formally valued by society. Most of these are related to broad benefits to society that do not involve the provision of a specific marketable product. Among these are the roles species and breeds play as attractive elements of rural areas or in creating traditional agricultural landscapes. In many societies, animals have cultural or religious functions. Some breeds may provide several services and functions (see Box 75 for an example). In the case of some of these non-commodity services, the general benefit to society and to the local economy can warrant governmental support or payment of incentives to owners and keepers for the social and cultural benefits that they provide but which are otherwise difficult to quantify and reward.
In most countries, the provision of such payments to livestock owners remains difficult to achieve.
Box The cultural value of Madura cattle in Indonesia One of Indonesia’s important animal genetic resources is the Madura cattle breed (Barwegen, 2004).
Phenotypic evidence suggests that Madura cattle could have been derived from three-way crosses, between Bos (bibos) spp., Bos indicus and Bos taurus types. Madura cows have a small head, while the head of the bull is bigger. They have a long body in relation to their legs. Their hoofs are strong.
Their height varies between 1.16 m and 1.24 m. The Madura breed is reported to be one of the best draught animals in the world relative to its size. This breed is mainly confined to the island of Madura (Madura Island is a densely populated, small island, about 4 497 km2 in size, located off the northeast coast of Java). Madura cattle are extremely well adapted to the climate of the island. The farmers use all crop residues and large quantities of browsed and fallen leaf material to feed their cattle. The climate is tropical with definite wet and dry periods. Madura cattle bring both economic and cultural benefits to the Maduranese people. They are used in the “Karapan”, a famous traditional bull race on Madura Island. The people have a strong cultural attachment to Madura cattle and to the Karapan racing. Another traditional activity, known as “Sonok”, is a contest in which pairs of cows or heifers walk harmoniously with accompanying traditional music. These cultural events attract many local people and tourists and help to safeguard the high value of the cattle and the existence of the breed.
Provided by Phil Sponenberg.
Objective: To incorporate the societal and cultural functions of a breed in a programme for its conservation.
1. List of breed characteristics;
2. Reports of any important cultural and social functions such as unique phenotypes that have become a part of the cultural landscape or participation of animals in cultural events;
and 3. Names of important stakeholders.
• A proposal for governmental or private support or incentive payments or a business plan for obtaining market recognition and generating financial returns.
Task 1. Identify the most important social and cultural functions of a breed Action 1. Determine the present and potential social or cultural functions of a breed Phenotypic characterization will ideally identify breeds, most important characteristics, but particular social and cultural functions may not necessarily be noted. Key stakeholders should be consulted to obtain information on these functions and their history and significance. Box 76 describes the unique social and cultural functions of the Chilote horse from Chile.
CGRFA/WG-AnGR-7/12/Inf.6 Box The Chilote horse and therapy programmes in Chile This Chilote horse is a breed developed on Chilo Island in the south of Chile. It descends from horses brought centuries ago by settlers from the Iberian Peninsula. It has remained genetically isolated from mainland populations and has adapted to the humid climate and wetlands that distinguish the island. The breed is characterized by a hard, resistant hoof, short stature and refined skeletal structure. The Chilote horse has also been selected over decades for a quiet temperament.
These particular characteristics give the Chilote a unique value, as they are perfectly adapted for use in sports for children and therapy for disabled people.
The management and development of this rare breed has been possible because of long-term government support and partnership with the private sector. This cooperation has ensured that the breed has been conserved and that it has gained value in the marketplace. Plans are being made for an even brighter future. The breed’s population is still small, but breeders would eventually like to expand their market beyond Chile, even to markets such as North America and Europe. These efforts will require continued public–private partnerships, both for the establishment of a breeders’ association to record performance and pedigree records and for support to research on genetics and reproduction.
Provided by Ignacio Garcia Len and Pascalle Renee Ziomi Smith.
Action 2. Document the various societal groups using and benefiting from these functions Beneficiaries of the social and cultural functions of livestock will usually be a wider group than the livestock keepers that use the animals for income generation. When the animals have a religious function, all persons following that particular religion may be beneficiaries. When a function is cultural, all persons within the geographical area of interest may derive some benefits. When the presence of the breed attracts tourists, operators of local hotels, restaurants and stores have a financial stake in the breed’s maintenance. When a breed somehow contributes to rural development in a general sense, then the public at large benefits, perhaps even people living outside the local community where the breed is found.
Action 3. Valuate the functions and services either in terms of their contribution to the local economy or the potential loss that would be suffered if they were not fulfilled As explained Section 3 (Box 10), there are many ways in which an animal genetic resource can contribute value to society. In most cases, the functions of animal genetic resources referred to in this section do not involve direct use, and thus their values cannot easily be measured. Marketing is also problematic, as the benefits are often dispersed across a wide range of stakeholders, each of whom derives a small amount of utility, which may be difficult to measure or estimate. In addition, the breeds will usually have been providing the services in question for many years. Therefore, determining the added value of these services may not be practical and it may be simpler to estimate the value of the breed’s contribution in terms of the loss that would be incurred if the functions and services were no longer available. For example, the Valdostana cattle breed in Italy is associated with a special festival that draws many tourists to its local area (see Box 77). The loss of this breed could be valuated in terms of the expected decreases in hotel, restaurant and other revenues tied to the festival.
Action 4. Determine the best approach (public or private) to incorporate cultural and social functions into breed conservation The stakeholder analysis described in Action 2 should ideally determine which stakeholders are benefiting the most from the maintenance of the breed at risk, and the economic study (Action 3) should help quantify the benefits reaped by each stakeholder group. This information will facilitate the process of determining whether public or private sources of support should be sought. Public sources of funding are more appropriate when benefits are spread evenly over a large group of stakeholders.
Potential sources include community or regional governments, or other broadly-based social groups such as churches or charitable foundations with an interest in social and cultural maintenance.
CGRFA/WG-AnGR-7/12/Inf.6 Box The cultural value of Valdostana cattle in Italy The Valdostana Castana cattle are farmed in the Aosta Valley, in the northwestern Alps of Italy.
Gandini and Villa (2003) showed that a considerable cultural value can be attributed to this breed, in that it has been a central element of life in rural Valdostana, and today acts as a custodian of local culture. These cattle have a considerable influence on the valley landscape, as they are taken up to alpine pastures in the summer. Fontina cheese and other gastronomic traditions are linked to the breed. Furthermore, the breed is used in the "Battle of the Queens", a tradition that developed from older "Queen of Horns" traditions and consists of a series of competitions between cows. All these aspects are currently exploited by summer tourism, but are only partially are recognized by the market: Fontina cheese is in high demand at the national level, and people pay to attend the final tournament of the Battle of the Queens in Aosta. However the breed’s important cultural role in maintaining the rural landscape is not captured by the market. Nevertheless, recent economic investigations among summer tourists and residents indicate a consistent willingness to pay for the breed’s role in maintaining the landscape. The challenge is to get the market to recognize and capture this consumer interest.
Provided by Gustavo Gandini.
Task 2. Prepare a proposal to solicit support from potential sources in local, regional or national governments or from private entrepreneurs Action 1. Identify the relevant authority and seek an initial meeting at which plans for a project to capture the value of the breed’s contribution to society can be explained The major contributions of the breed (and its production system) and the plans to capture the value of these contributions should be condensed and distilled into a brief and targeted pre-proposal or concept note. The most convincing and compelling arguments should be stressed, with realistic discretion regarding chances of success and potential pitfalls. The ways in which the financial support will be used must be summarized in clear terms, as well as the additional benefits that are foreseen as a result of the investment. The primary goals of this process will be to receive an invitation to prepare a full proposal and to force those making the proposal to crystallize their ideas into a tangible and realistic work plan.
Action 2. Prepare and submit a full proposal If the funding organization finds the pre-proposal to be of interest, it will likely invite the submission of a full proposal. The full proposal will generally be much more detailed and will require a greater level of planning. The format of the full proposal will vary widely depending on the organization and it will provide instruction and guidance regarding the information that is needed. However, a justification, an overview of the state of the art or of previous projects with similar objectives, a description of beneficiaries, a work plan with milestones and delivery dates, and a detailed budget are aspects that will be required for nearly any grant proposal, regardless of the donor.
Task 3. When the market recognizes a cultural or social value write a business plan to capitalize on these values Governments should not be the only option considered as sources of support, especially if relevant stakeholders among the public can be identified (or identify themselves). Crowd funding is a recently developed option that may be effective, especially if the need is for seed money to start a project.
Crowd funding involves the solicitation (usually via the internet) of a relatively small amount of money from each of many different people.
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CGRFA/WG-AnGR-7/12/Inf.6 Appendix 1. Glossary of selected terms Allele: One of the alternative forms of DNA at a given locus. The relative frequencies of alleles at a locus are the basis for molecular-based measures of genetic diversity.
At-risk breed: a breed with demographic characteristics (primarily population census size) suggesting that it will fail to exist in the future unless a conservation programme is implemented.
Biocultural Community Protocol: a document that is developed after a community undertakes a consultative process to outline their core cultural and spiritual values and customary laws relating to their traditional knowledge and resources. In this they provide clear terms and conditions regulating access to their knowledge and resources (Natural Justice, 2009).
Bottleneck: a period during which the size of a given population (such as a breed of livestock) is reduced to a very small number, thus eliminating many alleles and hence a large proportion of the genetic variability.
Breed: either a subspecific group of domestic livestock with definable and identifiable external characteristics that enable it to be separated by visual appraisal from other similarly defined groups within the same species, or a group for which geographical and/or cultural separation from phenotypically separate groups has led to acceptance of its separate identity and/or a group for which geographical and/or cultural separation from phenotypically similar groups has led to acceptance of its separate identity (this is the definition according to FAO, however, many definitions of the term breed can be found in the literature – see Box 1). For the purposes of the guidelines, a breed will be a sub specific group of domestic livestock with a common history for which its members will be treated in a common manner with respect to genetic management.
Breed standard: a description of the characteristics of the “ideal” animal to be achieved through the breeding programme of a standardized breed.
Carrier: an animal that is heterozygous at a locus that has a deleterious recessive effect. The animal will appear normal, but can pass the defective allele to its offspring, which will express the negative effect if they receive the defective allele from the other parent.
Census size: (or simply “population size”) the number of living animals in a population at a given time. Census size is usually greater than effective population size, a measure that accounts for genetic relationships among animals.
Choice modelling: a statistical approach that involves collecting data regarding the choice of stakeholders among various options, followed by analysis of the factors influencing the choices made.
Choice modelling can be used to establish relative weights among factors to consider when prioritizing breeds for conservation.
Circular mating: a design for the management of genetic diversity, whereby males of one (the first) family are always mated to females of a second family, males of the second family are mated to females the third family, and so on, with males of the last family closing the circle by being mated to the females of the first family. This design ensures that no mating occurs within families. Likewise, for population-level management, herds or villages can replace families in a design that is often called rotational mating.
Coancestry (coefficient): (abbreviated f and also known as the kinship or kinship coefficient) the probability that a randomly selected allele from two individuals (at the same locus) is identical by descent from a common ancestor.
Composite breed: a new breed developed from the systematic crossing of two or more breeds.
Cryoconservation: conservation by cryopreservation of a breed’s genetic material (usually semen, embryos or somatic cells) in vitro, in a non-living state, so that live animals can, if necessary, be regenerated in the future.
F: the proportional change in the average inbreeding of a population in a generation. The effective population size (N e ) can be estimated as N e = 1/2F.
Within the definitions, other terms that are listed in the glossary are italicized.
CGRFA/WG-AnGR-7/12/Inf.6 Ecosystem services: the benefits people obtain from ecosystems. These include provisioning services such as food, water, timber, and fibre;
regulating services that affect climate, floods, disease, wastes, and water quality;
cultural services that provide recreational, aesthetic, and spiritual benefits;
and supporting services such as soil formation, photosynthesis, and nutrient cycling (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005) 24.
Ecotype: a subpopulation within a breed that is genetically adapted to a specific habitat.
Effective population size: (abbreviated N e ) the size of a hypothetical idealized population that would generate the values of diversity parameters observed for a given population of interest. The N e corresponds to the number of breeding animals per generation and is usually smaller than the actual population count.
Ex situ in vivo conservation: conservation of a breed through maintenance of live animal populations not kept under normal management conditions (e.g. zoological parks and in some cases governmental farms) and/or outside of the area in which they evolved or are now normally found. There is often no clear boundary between in situ and ex situ in vivo conservation and care must be taken to describe the conservation objectives and the nature of the conservation in each case.
Extinction vortex: the condition in which the effective population size of a breed is so small that the detrimental effects of inbreeding depression on fertility and survival prevent the population from propagating itself. A breed in this state is in need of genetic rescue.
Factorial mating: allowing a female to mate with multiple males in her lifetime, which increases genetic diversity (see hierarchical mating).
Founder: one of the animals that were used in the past to establish a current breed. Presumably, today’s breeds were developed by selecting a group of similar animals from a large population and then interbreeding them for many generations. Genetic variability in a group of founders is lower than that in the larger population. The smaller the number of founders, the larger the decrease in variability.
Founder effect: a type of genetic drift resulting in a loss of genetic variability when a new population is established by a very small number of founders selected from a larger population.
Generation interval: (abbreviated L) the time between successive generations in a breeding population. It can be calculated as the difference between the average age of offspring and parents and may differ between male and female parents. Increasing the generation interval can increase effective population size.
Genetic defect: a heritable detrimental condition determined by the effects of one or a few genes.
Inheritance of genetic defects is often recessive and thus they are more commonly observed in populations that have small effective population size, because the chance of homozygosity through descent of the deleterious allele from a common ancestor is greater.
Genetic distance: a measure of the genetic differences between two populations (or species) calculated on the basis of allelic frequencies in both populations.
Genetic drift: (or simply “drift”) the change in the frequency of an allele due to random sampling.
Genetic drift is greater in small populations and it usually decreases genetic diversity by decreasing heterozygosity. In the most extreme case it results in monomorphic loci.
Genetic marker: (or molecular marker) a sequence of DNA with observable variability (polymorphism) that provides information about variation that is not directly observable.
Genetic rescue: applying limited cross-breeding to save a population that is in an extinction vortex due to effects of inbreeding depression.
Heterosis: (or hybrid vigour) is the increase in performance (size, production, fitness) of cross-bred animals over the average of its parental breeds, which occurs due to increased heterozygosity.
Heterozygosity: the condition where both alleles at a given locus are different. Heterozygosity is generally advantageous, because a favourable allele can often compensate for the effects of an inferior Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. 2005. Ecosystems and human well-being: synthesis. Washington D.C., Island Press (available at http://millenniumassessment.org/en/index.aspx).
CGRFA/WG-AnGR-7/12/Inf.6 or detrimental allele at the same locus. Mean heterozygosity is often used as a measure of genetic variability.
Hierarchical mating: mating a female to the same male throughout her lifetime (see factorial mating).
Homozygosity: the condition in which both alleles at a given locus are the same. Homozygosity is generally unfavourable.
Idealized population: a (hypothetical) randomly mated population with equal numbers of males and females, contributing uniform numbers of progeny, and not subject to other forces that change genetic variability, such as mutation, migration and selection. Idealized populations form the theoretical basis for computing effective population size.
In situ conservation: conservation of a breed through continued use by livestock keepers in the production system in which the livestock evolved or are now normally found and bred. Successful in situ conservation usually requires changing the economic and market environment, allowing a breed to be financially sustainable.
Inbreeding: the mating of relatives. Inbreeding is generally detrimental because it increases homozygosity. Inbreeding is more common in small populations because a greater proportion of animals are related because of the decreased number of possible ancestors.
Inbreeding coefficient: (abbreviated F) a measure of the level of inbreeding equal to the probability that the alleles at any given locus are identical because they were each inherited from a common ancestor of the two parents.
Inbreeding depression: the reduction in performance for a given phenotypic trait due to negative effects of inbreeding.
Kinship (coefficient): see coancestry.
Landrace: (or Landrace breed) a breed that has largely developed through adaptation to the natural environment and traditional production system in which it has been raised.
Linkage disequilibrium: a non-random association between the alleles carried at different loci by an individual. This usually occurs because two loci are located closely together on the same chromosome.
Local breed: a breed that occurs in only one country.
Locus: a distinct region of DNA (often a gene) in the genome.
Marker assisted selection: (abbreviated MAS) the use of DNA markers to improve response to selection in a population.
Mate selection: an approach in which genetic variation in a breed is managed by selecting the sire/dam combinations that will result in the greatest genetic variability, rather than selecting the most genetically diverse parents in a first step and determining the mating in a second step.
Minimum coancestry contributions methodology: an approach to the selection of breeding animals that maximizes genetic diversity by emphasizing individuals that are relatively unrelated to the population in general.
Monomorphic locus: a locus that is fixed at a given allele in a population, so that all animals are homozygous and there is no genetic variability at the locus.
Optimum contributions strategy: a method of selection that chooses the best set of parents for increasing genetic gain while maintaining genetic variability. Genetic value of potential parents and their relationships with each other are considered simultaneously.
Panmictic population: a population within which all animals can mate with each other.
Productivity: a phenotypic trait that accounts not only for the quantity of a given output produced by an animal or breed (on the average), but also the inputs required to achieve those outputs.
Recessive inheritance: the phenomenon by which an allele must be in a homozygous state in order for its effects (usually negative) to be observed.
CGRFA/WG-AnGR-7/12/Inf.6 Role model breeders: livestock keepers that have a great deal of indigenous knowledge allowing them to manage their animals well and also to efficiently select animals to obtain their desired genetic goals. Such breeders can be a valuable resource for community-based breeding programmes, by sharing their knowledge with others.
Rotational mating system: see circular mating.
Selection: any process, natural or artificial, that results in different probabilities of survival (and particularly in numbers of offspring) among members of a population. Selection tends to decrease genetic variability because the genes of non-selected animals are not passed to the subsequent generation.
Selection intensity: a standardized measure of strength of selection, related to the superiority of chosen parents relative to the population average. Selection intensity increases as the proportion of animals chosen as parents decreases.
Standardized breed: a breed of livestock that was developed according to a strict programme of genetic isolation and formal artificial selection to achieve a particular phenotype.
SWOT analysis: a decision-making tool that (in the context of animal genetic resources management) consists of listing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats associated with a breed and using the results to develop a strategy for future management of the breed.
Transboundary breed: a breed that occurs in more than one country. Regional transboundary breeds are found only among countries in the same region, whereas International transboundary breeds exist in multiple regions.
Truncation selection: choosing as parents all animals with a phenotypic or genetic value exceeding a given threshold and obtaining equal numbers of offspring from each (as far as possible). See weighted selection.
Unit of conservation: the distinct population of animals to which a conservation programme is applied. For the purpose of these guidelines, a breed of animals within a given country is the unit of conservation.
Weighted selection: choosing as parents all animals with a phenotypic or genetic value exceeding a given threshold, but obtaining relatively more offspring from the superior animals. Emphasizing certain parents more than others allows for a greater selection response (or equal response with greater effective population size) than by simple truncation selection, but is more complex and costly.