One of Europe’s largest meat suppliers, Vion, expects the number of pigs and cattle in Western Europe to shrink by 20% over the next ten years, and meat consumption to decrease by 1-2% annually.
The news was broken in Dutch newspaper ‘Het Financieele Dagblad‘ and is a promising sign that our food system is changing in response to growing awareness of the true cost of our dietary habits on the environment, health and animals.
Response to climate policy and changing consumer behavior
The plant-based market has boomed in recent years as consumers have become more conscious of the impact of the food on their plate, and Vion intend to compensate for less livestock by expanding into plant-based substitutes.
“It’s no surprise that some of the largest meat suppliers are predicting dramatic changes in their markets. We’ve already seen companies like Cargill (one of North America’s largest beef processors) and Tyson invest heavily in Beyond Meat. This prediction confirms what the industry has known is happening for some time, that slowly but surely meat is moving off the menu.”
Leading research, such as last year’s reports from Eat Lancet and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), highlights the need to dramatically decrease our consumption of animal products in order to feed a growing world population, which is expected to hit 10 billion by 2050.
Vion’s prediction and move into the plant-based sector are motivating signs that this can be achieved, and we look forward to seeing even more food producers follow!