Government figures reveal Germans are eating less meat than ever before
Data published this week reveals that German meat consumption continues to decline as more people shift to healthier, climate-friendly diets.
The data, from Germany’s Federal Information Centre for Agriculture (BZL), finds that the per capita consumption of meat fell by 4.2 kilograms in 2022, compared to 2021. The per capita consumption now stands at 52 kilograms – the lowest since records began in 1989.
“We’re really pleased to see the continued decline in meat consumption in Germany, which has been helped by people following flexitarian diets,” Jasmijn de Boo, Vice President of ProVeg, said.
“This is good news for the environment, for people’s health and, of course, for animals. Animal agriculture is responsible for about 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions, along with widespread deforestation, and the pollution of waterways. It is imperative that policies are implemented to ensure that the trend seen in Germany is replicated elsewhere,” de Boo added.
A study published in March 2023 revealed that high methane producing foods like meat and dairy products will push the planet past the 1.5C international target by the end of the century if left unchecked.
Germany’s Bonn University stated in a study published in April 2022 that rich countries will need to reduce their meat consumption by up to 75% to meet those international climate targets and to avoid ecosystem collapse.
“We can no longer ignore the need to significantly transform the food system to ensure a more sustainable future for all, and the good news is that the solutions are already out there to reduce meat and dairy consumption by encouraging a flexitarian diet,” de Boo said.
Public procurement of plant-based foods, policies that encourage the growth of the plant-based industry, investment in alternative protein product research and innovation, and incentives for farmers to transition away from meat and dairy production are among the actions urgently needed to avoid climate breakdown, de Boo added.
Europe’s plant-based market is growing
Meanwhile, separate data compiled by Nielsen and published by GFI Europe this week shows sales of plant-based foods in Europe have grown 6% in 2022 – and 22% since 2020 – to reach €5.7 billion.
Germany has the highest plant-based food sales value in Europe, but the Netherlands has the highest average plant-based food spend per capita, according to the report.
Notes to Editors
For media inquiries, email Peter Rixon at [email protected]
About ProVeg International
ProVeg is an international food awareness organisation working to transform the global food system by replacing conventional animal-based products with plant-based and cultivated alternatives.
ProVeg works with international decision-making bodies, governments, food producers, investors, the media, and the general public to help the world transition to a society and economy that are less dependent on animal agriculture and more sustainable for humans, animals, and the planet.
ProVeg has permanent-observer status with the UNFCCC, is accredited for UNEA, and has received the United Nations’ Momentum for Change Award. ProVeg also has Observer Status at the IPCC.