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14 May 2021, 14:14
Edgar Meza

Production of vegetarian meat substitutes grows quickly in Germany

Tofu sausages, veggie burgers and other plant-based alternatives to meat are quickly becoming more popular in Germany, but their share remains tiny when compared to animal products. Production of meat substitute products grew nearly 39 percent in 2020, from around 60,000 tonnes in 2019 to more than 83,000 tonnes, according to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). The value of these vegan and vegetarian-friendly products rose 37 percent, from 273 million euros to 375 million euros over the same period. Despite the sharp increase, the value of meat products "Made in Germany" was more than 100 times higher, at around 38.6 billion euros, Destatis noted.

Last year saw a 4 percent drop in the value of meat produced, however, likely due to the coronavirus pandemic, which resulted in the temporary closures of several production companies, the statistics office said. Overall, meat consumption in Germany has decreased significantly. In 1978 a household consumed an average of 6.7 kilograms of meat per month, not including sausage products, smoked and dried meat or other preserved, processed meat. Today it’s only around a third of the amount at around 2.3 kilograms.

Federal Environment Agency (UBA) head Dirk Messner recently said Germany needed to cut meat consumption by half in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and that the agricultural reform currently being discussed in the EU needs to include the reduction of factory farming.

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