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German meat production falls by 4%

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2 min read
AUTHOR: Stef Bottinelli

German meat production is down, compared to a 10-year-high in 2020.
Germany produced 4% less meat compared to the previous year, whilst the production of plant-based meat rose by a whopping 39%.

According to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) the production of meat substitutes rose from almost 60.4 thousand tons to 83.7 whilst the consumption of fresh meat has fallen since 1978, from 6.7 kilograms per household per month to 2.3 in 2018. The monthly consumption of beef products fell by 900 grams in forty years, from 1.5 kg to 600 g, poultry from 1.8 kilograms to 600 grams, whilst pork saw a steep decrease, from 3.1 kg to just under 900 grams per household.

Whilst last year plant-based meat products saw a rise in popularity, the meat substitute industry is still much smaller than the meat market. The value of German meat and meat products was around 38.6 billion euros in 2020 – more than a hundred times that of vegan meat products. 

Although 2020 saw a 4% decline in meat produced in Germany, the previous year recorded a 10-year high in sales of pork, beef and poultry, valued at 40.1 billion euros. According to the Federal Statistical Office, the decline can be attributed to the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced some meat manufacturers temporarily out of business due to hygiene regulation violations and a high rate of COVID-19 infections among employees working on meat and poultry plants.

Whilst the value of plant-based substitutes is 100 times lower than animal meat, vegan meats went from a value of 272.8 million euros in 2019 to 374.9 million euros in 2020, an increase of 37%.