Despite the drop in consumption, Belgian meat production has not decreased. Credit; Pxhere
Meat consumption in Belgium has been decreasing steadily in recent years, and has dropped by 8.8% since 2010.
Belgians, on average, consumed about 10 kg less meat per person per year. Where the average Belgian person consumed about 82.4 kg of meat per year in 2010, meat consumption is now at 72.2 kg per person per year.
Belgians have consumed less beef in particular, according to the newest figures from Statbel, with a fall in consumption of 19.5%. Next is poultry, with a 13.6% decrease, followed by mutton and goat meat with 11.8%. Pork consumption has only dropped by 2.4% since 2010.
Notably, the consumption of “edible offal” has increased by 6.5% over the same period.
The decline in meat consumption has to to with the increasing attention that is given to its impact on the environment, the consideration of animal welfare as well as various ethical and social considerations. However, the ageing of the population could also have something to do with it, as older people generally consume smaller quantities, reports DHnet.
However, despite the drop in consumption, Belgian meat production has not decreased as farmers are taking advantage of the international markets to compensate for the drop in domestic consumption.
Meat consumption in Europe has increased by 4.7 kg between 2013 and 2019, and over 50% of the meat produced in Belgium is meant for export, reports De Standaard.
However, a European Commission expert group has predicted that the trend is expected to reverse in the coming years, as Europeans will eat less meat in the future.