At Bord Bia's Meat Marketing Seminar, held today (10/01/2020) at Kilashee House Hotel in Naas, the performance of the Irish meat industry in 2019 was reviewed and presentations were made on the topic of how the industry can respond as it faces into a decade of rapid change.
The seminar brought together over 150 representatives from the Irish meat industry at government, producer, and processor levels, to review the global meat industry in 2019 and look ahead to the opportunities and challenges of 2020 and beyond.
It was a year of mixed fortunes for the Irish meat and livestock industry with beef and sheepmeat exports declining by 7% each in value, while pigmeat and poultry rose in value by 14% and 5% respectively. Overall meat exports were back 1% on 2019, at €3.963 billion from last year’s high of €4 billion.
Bord Bia CEO, Tara McCarthy, acknowledged the pressures faced by the industry but underlined the industry’s ability to respond to the opportunities of tomorrow’s changing consumer: “Undoubtedly, we face into a future where meat consumption is changing with consumers looking to eat less but better. However, the Irish meat industry, underpinned by the efforts of our primary producers and farmers, is extremely well-placed to deliver on these needs and provide the reassurances and innovative solutions that increasingly discerning consumers look for around transparency, animal welfare, and sustainability. Origin Green, our national sustainability programme, remains key to meeting many of these needs, while strengthening our competitive position as a global meat supplier.”
Analysis from Bord Bia, presented at the seminar by Rory McDonnell from Bord Bia’s Thinking House, found that over a fifth of adults worldwide are actively trying to increase their protein intake and the future role of meat will evolve: "Meat continues to have a fundamental role in diets worldwide, now and into the future, even as consumption of lab meats and vegan replacements rises. The nature of this role is changing with consumer expectations around meat greater than ever. Meat must be able to satisfy primal needs for nourishment, health, indulgence, reward and convenience. Furthermore, people want to be informed about the meat they purchase and will respond to claims that instill trust and confidence,” explained Rory McDonnell.
The research, which examined global meat trends, featured primary research with UK and Irish consumers. The purpose of the study is to support the industry to unlock potential value from the fast changing marketplace.
Padraig Brennan, Director of Sectors at Bord Bia outlined their commitment to future proofing the sector: “At today’s seminar, Bord Bia emphasises the robust plans in place to accelerate the potential of Irish meat exports in new markets while growing share across priority markets. The insights presented today are vital to help understand how our industry can respond to this changing consumer environment. Bord Bia will continue to champion the fundamental strengths of our meat industry to create a differentiated position among trade customers and consumers.”