By FW staff
UK meat increased its domestic market share last year, helping to cut imports despite the strong Pound, according to recent ministry figures.
Promotions by industry bodies and retailers to encourage consumers to use home-produced meat are thought to be one of the main reasons for the climb.
Estimates of abattoir throughputs (dressed carcass weight) for January to September 1998 show home produced beef, sheepmeat, pigmeat and poultry rose to the equivalent of 92% of domestic consumption, up 1% on the first nine months of 1997.
Domestic beef production dropped slightly, by 4500t, to 517,600t. But imports fell sharply, to 130,6000t, almost 47,000t lower than 1997.
Over 50,000t extra of UK pork was produced. Much of this was exported, due to low UK prices – levels rose to almost 200,000t, well ahead of the 163,000t achieved in January to September 1997.
Imports rose only slightly to 134,400t, up 3400t, despite plentiful supplies on the Continent following the collapse of Asian and Russian markets.
Home-produced lamb proved popular too. Over 20,000t more was produced in the first nine months of 1998, topping 270,000t. Imports fell by about 7000t, and exports remained steady at 98,000t.