Sustainable food procurement improves, but world markets are changing

UK - A third of local education authorities (LEAs) buy more than 75 per of their meat from local suppliers, according to a survey commissioned by the MLC to monitor attitudes to sustainable procurement of food.
calendar icon 11 October 2007
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LEAs are increasingly purchasing meat that complies with one of the red meat assurance schemes, with traceability more important than origin when purchasing meat. Ongoing research into the economics and practicalities of purchasing fresh rather than frozen meat has stimulated the Government Offices for the Regions to encourage LEAs to change their purchasing profiles.

This is good news for the meat industry, says MLC in its latest issue of Meat Demand Trends. It says the public sector is an important user of parts of the carcase that are sometimes difficult to find markets for.

Consumption trends
Another featured article looks at how the consumption of individual meats has evolved over the last 30 years within Europe. Although European per capita meat consumption is forecast to continue to grow, world meat consumption is growing at a faster rate. The most significant being seen in China, the Pacific Rim countries and South America, says MLC.

Other analysis shows that World beef production rose by around four per cent in 2006 and is expected to continue to increase, driven by Brazilian and Chinese demand.

Also, a rising world demand for pig meat led to higher production in that year, despite pressure from increasing costs, as efficiency gains continued.

Prolonged drought is constraining the Australian sheep industry and appreciation of the New Zealand dollar against most exchange rates has contributed to deterioration of producers' margins.

The continued spread of the avian 'flu H5N1 virus affected EU poultry consumption, production and trade in 2006, but globally consumption for poultry meat continued to rise at the expense of red meat.

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