14 April 1995

Veal only small part of answer

EXPANSION of UK veal production can only be a small part of the solution to the problems the beef and veal industry faces, said David Gunner of the Sims Food Group.

"But I believe in a limited opportunity for cautious, planned expansion of the UK veal industry," he added. To emphasise the limited market he said that:

lThe MLC estimated the UK veal retail market was 4000 calves a year, all of which were welfare-friendly, home produced. That was 20% of the total market.

lThe other 16,000 calves a year equivalent used in catering were from Holland and France.

lUK veal consumption a head equated to 2oz a person a year.

lConsumption in Italy, France, Germany and the Netherlands was between 30 to 50 times the UKs.

lEU consumption was declining.

Supermarkets sourced all of their veal from UK production systems. But they only accounted for 20% of demand, leaving the UK catering industry as the main opportunity customer.

David Gunner… Veal consumption declining in the UK and abroad.