Demand for red meat declines in Canada: report
Consumption and demand for meat is declining in Canada due to falling household incomes, soaring meat prices and a struggling restaurant industry, according to a new report.
“As incomes fall or prices rise…we expect meat consumption to decline as households cut back on more expensive meals,” says the Farm Credit Canada (FCC) report. “Recurring shutdowns and food service closures have also reduced meat consumption.”
FCC is a Crown corporation that provides financial services and loans to farmers to support the sector. In a January report on economic trends in agriculture and food, FCC said continued inflation due to the COVID-19 pandemic underlies many of the costs and concerns currently facing farmers. Canadians.
“Animal protein was not immune to the inflationary pressures seen elsewhere,” the report adds.
Using data from Statistics Canada, the report showed that beef demand began to steadily decline after peaking at the end of 2020. Since 2021, Canadians appear to be compensating by buying more chicken.
“Chicken demand rebounded in 2021 in response to widespread reopenings of food services and possibly higher red meat prices inducing red meat substitution,” the report said.
Besides rising meat prices, the report also showed how the COVID-19 pandemic has led to increased shipping costs and labor shortages, while the widespread drought of 2021 has had a negative impact on the production of economically vital crops such as wheat, canola and barley.
“Last year was not the year of the recovery and respite we thought was imminent after the horror story of 2020,” the report said. “Throughout 2022, we will be watching closely to see if demand indices return to pre-pandemic levels and resume growth.”