Red meat demand falling, AgriLIVE hears

The world population may be increasing, but demand for red meat is declining according to Imperial College’s food marketing expert, David Hughes.

“Globally over the next 10-15 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 warned.

Although, Prof Hughes told the audience at the AgriLIVE’s Big Debate not to panic about the situation, he did say the sector had a long way to go to produce a consistent product.

“When you want people to pay a premium then there must be reasons. We need to reinforce to the consumer why they should pay more for beef and lamb.”

And this is something EBLEX’s Michael Richard also told Farmers Weekly at the event.

“Particularly for farmers direct selling, making sure meat quality is right and that the product is consistent is one of the most important aspects for survival of a business.”

But, he said it wasn’t just breed that was important in the quality and consistency of meat, but diet, selection, handling and transport, slaughter and also the chill chain were all aspects influencing meat quality.