The Farming Social Hub - a voice for the farming community

Beef farmers enjoy bumper month

It is often billed as the most challenging month for meat producers but early evidence suggests that January has seen a continuation of the rise in consumption of meat products that has been witnessed during the pandemic.

Despite January being adopted by Vegans as a month to experiment with a meat and dairy-free diet, early signs are that the general public’s new love affair with meat – particularly beef – is set to continue into 2021.

Figures for 2020 show a 22 per cent rise in beef sales compared with the previous year. Among the reasons for the increase were: good weather which meant more people had barbecue meals at home; an increase in the sales of low value products such as mince; but conversely, a rise in the sale of premium beef products as people sought to treat themselves while restaurants were closed during the pandemic.

That said, there is still an ongoing debate about the impact of meat production on climate change – something the farming sector must ensure is debated fairly and accurately in the public domain. To achieve this, the UK Cattle Sustainability Platform has been launched to make sure all stakeholders in the beef industry – farming groups, processors, trade bodies and retailers – speak with one voice.