5 December 2000
Beef sales up, but lamb down
By FWi staff
HORSERADISH is replacing mint sauce on a growing number of British dinner tables, according to a new survey.
Government statistics show that the amount of beef and veal eaten per household rose 9% in the third quarter of 2000, compared to the same period last year.
And for the year to September, consumption of beef and veal rose by an impressive 13%, in comparison to the first nine months of 1999.
The report makes less pleasant reading for sheep farmers, as mutton and lamb consumption fell 9% in the third quarter, and down 4% for the year.
The data, compiled by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Office of National Statistics, will encourage beef farmers that consumer confidence is recovering after the BSE crisis.
It remains to be seen whether the panic in Europe over higher-than-expected levels of BSE in France, Spain and Germany will affect UK consumer confidence.
The data show an increase in poultry consumption of 9% in the third quarter, and of 6% for the first nine months, on last year.
Shoppers bought 8% more pork between July and September, but consumption for the first nine months of 2000 was the same as last year.
Dairy farmers can take some heart from a 13% increase in household consumption of liquid milk for the first nine months of 2000.
But growers saw shoppers buy 4% fewer potatoes between January and September, despite a 14% fall in prices.
Fresh vegetable consumption fell 2% in the first nine months, although higher prices meant expenditure was unchanged.
Processed vegetable purchases rose 4% in the third quarter but were unchanged for the year.
Shoppers bought 4% more fresh fruit in the first nine months, while cereals, excluding bread, rose 9% in the year to date.