Why are meat markets booming?
The booming meat markets in the US, the UK and Australia have raised concerns about how consumers are accessing the meat supply chain, according to the US Department of Agriculture.
The government said the US has the third-largest meat supply, with more than 50 million pounds of meat being produced annually.
The US meat supply chains are dominated by meat processing plants, which are used to make products such as pork, beef and lamb.
“The meat supply and consumption in the United States has been rising dramatically,” USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said during a speech in Washington, DC.
“It’s now the most-visited market for American beef, the biggest beef market in the world.”
A new report published by the USDA on Tuesday found that the US beef industry is now worth more than $10 billion a year, up from $2.6 billion in 2013.
“US beef is growing rapidly, especially for US consumers,” said US Agriculture Secretary Tom Velsa, who also noted that the number of US beef producers has increased.
“If the beef supply was more stable, then our beef producers would not be so dependent on international markets for the bulk of their product.”
The USDA also said that the meat industry in the country now employs nearly 50,000 people, and it expects to add another 8,000 jobs by 2020.
“That’s a lot of jobs,” Vilsa said.
“But it’s also a lot less than the number in the meat market.”
The meat supply in the UK is the most fragmented of the three US meats supply chains, and Vilsas statement also highlighted the difficulties consumers have had with finding out where their beef comes from.
“We’ve had the biggest meat shortage since the Second World War,” Velsas told the USDA.
“And we’ve been the hardest hit by the crisis in global supply chains.”