IFFA to focus on sustainability of meat sector

IFFA 2022 opens up to alternative protein sources
calendar icon 18 February 2022
clock icon 2 minute read

According to a press release from Technology for Meat and Alternative Proteins (IFFA), sustainability will a top theme at its upcoming trade fair. IFFA will be held in Frankfurt, Germany from 14-19 May 2022.

Sustainability is a catalyst for change and innovation in the meat industry. Political requirements and nutrition-conscious consumers are driving producers and manufacturers to act. Additional pressure is being generated by the global debate on climate protection and resource conservation. The meat processing industry is responding to this with technological innovations, but also with fundamental corporate commitments to sustainable solutions.

The discussion about sustainable production in the meat processing industry essentially concerns issues of environmental protection, health and animal welfare. In connection with climate protection, the high CO2 emissions, the equally high water consumption and the packaging waste produced, which consists mainly of plastic packaging, are the focus of criticism.

The influence of meat consumption on the greenhouse effect is undisputed. According to data cited in the press release , in Germany alone, 42.7 million tons of CO2 per year are attributable to meat consumption, in addition to water consumption of 60 trillion litres. The average water footprint per calorie is particularly high for beef, about twenty times higher than for cereals. It is estimated that switching to a diet low in meat could result in water savings of 11–35%.

In addition to environmental aspects, consumers have expressed concern over animal welfare. According to a Eurobarometer survey conducted in April 2021, around one-third of Europeans buy and eat less meat, and 16% take the carbon footprint of their food into account when shopping and adjust their purchases accordingly. Meat substitutes based on plant proteins as well as vegan and vegetarian alternatives are experiencing a real boom and reflect the trend toward sustainable and animal-friendly foods.

IFFA 2022 picks up this trend and will open up to alternative protein sources. In addition to its focus on meat, the trade show will present processing technologies and ingredients for plant based proteins for the first time.

Melanie Epp

Melanie Epp is a freelance agricultural journalist from Ontario, Canada.

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