Demand for red meat declining in the UK

Beef on a forkThe world’s population may be on the increase but it appears, in the UK at least, that demand for red meat is declining.

Speaking in December at AgriLIVE Smithfield, a business and technology event for those involved in the red meat supply chain, David Hughes, a food marketing expert at Imperial College London, said falling demand posed a danger to suppliers within the industry.

“Globally over the next 10 to 15 years, beef and lamb products will be flat or declining, and with the price of beef double that of pork it is a threat for red meat,” he said.

A drop in demand for lamb was blamed for the loss this week of more than 200 jobs at a meat processing plant owned by Welsh Country Foods, in Gaerwen, Anglesey.

Despite evidence of how our eating habits should be and are changing, the meat and livestock industries have consistently argued that meat production will need to increase to accommodate a burgeoning world population.

But the way we eat is already changing as a result of health and environmental concerns, as well as cost. The Goverment’s Food 2030 strategy aims to encourage more people to grow their own fruit and veg in gardens and allotments, and with an increase in home-grown produce our meat consumption may fall even further.

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