United Kingdom Role Model in Sustainable Meat and Eggs

The Netherlands considers the UK to be a role model in sustainable production of meat and eggs, according to a report from Wageningen UR.
calendar icon 2 December 2011
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In the UK, the market share of the intermediate, or non-organic, segment is high and the country takes improvement of animal welfare into consideration, writes Rachel Ralte, Junior Editor of ThePoultrySite.

According to the Wageningen UR report, the UK's intermediate segment uses production methods which are more animal-friendly and sustainable than those used for standard products.

The country is, therefore, a role model for the Netherlands in terms of development of this intermediate segment.

A study conducted by LEI and Wageningen UR has taken an inventory of the imtermediate segments in pig and poultry meat and eggs across Denmark, Germany, the UK, Belgium and France.

In France, improvement in animal welfare is secondary. This may be attributed to differences in culture. For French retailers, the variety in the assortment is related more to the region or taste, and less to sustainability. However, retailers are now being challenged to work towards improvement in integral sustainability.

The Danish intermediate has little or no significance, except for eggs. Importance is given more to climate and public health. However, improvement of animal welfare through legislation is now slowly making it's way.

It may be safe to say that the German and Belgian intermediate markets are still untapped. Lack of direction appears to be a major contributor to this problem. In Germany there is a latent market for the intermediate segment, offering potential for Dutch exports.

The table below provides an overview of the various countries' share of the intermediate segment in sales.

Overview of the share of the intermediate segment in sales
(figures for 2008-2009)
Product group NL UK DK DE FR
Pork 1.2% 16-18% 1.5% - -
Chicken 1.5% >20% <1% - 49%
Eggs (barn) 55% 5% 20% (approx.) 44.5% -
Eggs (free range) 10% (approx.) 42% 7% >11.5% -
- : information missing / not found. No figures for Belgium were found.
December 2011
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