04 Apr 2024, 13:28
Carolina Kyllmann

German meat consumption falls to record low in 2023

Clean Energy Wire

Meat consumption in Germany in 2023 fell to its lowest levels since records began in 1991, according to preliminary data from the Federal Information Centre for Agriculture (BZL). Per capita meat consumption fell to 51.6 kilograms, 0.8 percent lower than the previous year. "One of the reasons for the decline in meat consumption is likely changing diets," the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE) wrote in a press release. "A generally increased awareness of the impact of high meat consumption on our own health, the climate and the environment is also likely to play a role."

Beef and veal recorded the largest percentage of consumption decline (more than 5% to 8.9 kilograms per person), followed by pork (about 2% to 27.5 kilograms per person). Poultry consumption, on the other hand, increased by around 900 grams to 13.1 kilograms per person. "Germans are paying more attention to their health, the impact on the environment and animal welfare when it comes to their diet," agriculture minister Cem Özdemir said. "Agriculture, trade and politics should jointly orientate themselves towards this reality in order to further develop animal husbandry in Germany in a future-proof manner."

According to the agriculture ministry's 2023 Nutrition Report, there is a long-term trend of towards lower meat consumption in Germany. A transition to more sustainable diets could help reduce global emissions and increase the available carbon budget compatible with limiting global warming to 1.5°C for other sectors, a recent report by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) found. Germany is aiming to reduce its agricultural emissions, which make up about 7 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions, in order to achieve climate neutrality by 2045.

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