What if meat consumption would decrease more than expected in the high-income countries?
Changes in meat consumption patterns could induce significant adjustments in agricultural markets. In this paper alternative scenarios envisaging lower meat consumption over the coming decade in high income countries and some selected emerging economies have been tested, with or without compensation by other sources of proteins. From a European perspective, results show a livestock farming sector having to deal with contradictory market signals. On the one side, the reduction in feedstuffs prices is an incentive to produce more, with lower output prices affecting positively the trade balance with developing countries, where demand keeps increasing. However, on the other side, the lower domestic demand for meat would affect profitability of meat production in the EU. Overall, the European beef meat sector would be the most affected, with some higher demand for dairy products. This possible evolution of European diets is a challenge for European livestock farmers, which will be required to adapt their production mix and rely on the portfolio of policies the CAP offers.
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