The meat industry is facing a 'difficult year' in 2021, according to a market analyst.
Rupert Claxton, meat director at consultancy and market research firm Gira, said he is 'particularly worried' about the impact of coronavirus on the sector during an industry roundtable event last week, reports say.
Claxton told delegates that the meat industry is not immune from the impending recession and he predicts that the poultry, beef, and pork markets will not return to pre-COVID levels by next year.
'A tougher year'
"Next year as a whole will remain low, and so challenged in terms of where that demand is," he said.
"We've got to go into 2021 expecting it to be a tougher year and a reduced European market becoming of the economic factors of COVID-19, more so than the physical impact of COVID itself."
Meat and coronavirus
The industry has also suffered from image issues throughout the pandemic, due to the link between factory farming and pandemic potential. Earlier this year, a group of British doctors urged the public to reduce its meat consumption, branding industrial animal farming a 'ticking time bomb'.
Dr. Gemma Newman – also known as the Plant Powered Doctor – who is a senior partner at a UK medical practice, said: "Some politicians and commentators blame China for Covid-19, but they do not mention that all of the recent major disease outbreaks have been caused by tampering with animals and their habitats, or that our chicken salad and pepperoni pizza could be the next big health risk.
"The inconvenient truth is that factory farms put a strain on animal health, which means we treat them with antibiotics and small doses end up in your meal. suggests an extra 10 million people may die by 2050 as a result of antibiotic resistance, and we can add viral pandemics to these figures too. This current crisis shows us that we are not prepared for the future we are creating. Our industrial-scale factory farms are like a ticking time bomb – yet I can guarantee that lentils will not spark a viral pandemic anytime soon."