Germans are turning their
backs on meat consumpt-ion in record numbers.
Last year saw the great-est fall in the amount of meat products eaten since records began in 1989.
Germany is noted for its love of sausages in particular, such as the Bockwurst and Bratwurst.
The amount of meat consumed per person in 2022, however, was the lowest since records began.
A Federal Information Centre for Agriculture (BZL) report says just 52 kilograms of meat were consumed per person last year in Germany.
That is about 4.2 kilograms less than in the previous year – which also saw a significant decline in meat eating.
According to the BZL, people ate around 2.8 kilograms less pork, 900 grams less beef and veal
and 400 grams less poultry in 2022.
The move towards a plant-based diet is growing in Germany where, according to the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, about 10 per cent of the population were vegetarian and two per cent vegan in 2021.
However, the cost of living crisis might also be a factor as the price of meat products has risen sharply due to the high energy prices, a result of the war in Ukraine.
Meat consumption in Germany has fallen by 13 per cent since 2017, when people ate an average of 60 kilograms each.
Pork has suffered most, with sales down about 20 per cent, though the consumption of poul-try has increased slightly over the same time period.
The fall in meat sales has had a direct impact on farms, with 10 per cent less pork, eight per cent less beef and veal and three per cent less poultry being produced in 2022.
Jasmijn de Boo, Vice President of ProVeg, welcomed the news of the decline in popularity of meat in Germany.
“We’re really pleased to see the continued decline in meat consumption in Germany, which has been helped by people foll-owing flexitarian diets.
“This is good news for the environment, for people’s health and, of course, for animals.
“Animal agriculture is respon-sible for about 20 per cent 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.
Germany’s Bonn University stat-ed in a study published in April 2022 that rich countries will need to reduce their meat consumption by up to 75 per cent to meet those international climate targets and to avoid ecosystem collapse.
Meanwhile, separate data com-piled by Nielsen and published by GFI Europe shows sales of plant-based foods in Europe have grown six per cent in 2022 – and 22 per cent 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.
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