Thursday, 20 January, 2022

Tax, antispeciesists, consumption … meat facing its challenges

Tax meat instead of fuel. In full discontent linked to the rise in fuel prices, the lawyer and essayist David Chauvet drew this shocking idea in a column published in Release. Why such a proposal? Due to the impact of animal husbandry on the environment, this defender of animals points. And a new study published in Plos One also raises the idea of ​​taxing red meat to take into account its impact on health. Decidedly, meat has not been popular lately.

The actions of anti-specisite activists against butcher shops are increasing. In the past two weeks, several points of sale in France have been sprayed with fake blood. The result of a campaign launched by the 269 Life France association which is due to end on November 17th. Since September, actions of this kind have hit the headlines. “We respect the convictions of vegans but we must also respect those who eat meat and those who live by working meat” confided at the end of October, in a very measured way, the marketing director of Charal to Challenges.

The National Interprofessional Association of Cattle and Meat split at the end of September with an open letter to Emmanuel Macron denouncing the “violence”. “The freedoms of conscience and expression invoked by anti-meat and anti-specisite collectives and associations cannot be the guarantees of this violence,” she writes, adding that they “openly declare war on them”. “Yes, we have already suffered damage and demonstrations in front of our shops,” said a famous Parisian butcher who clearly marks a difference between “vegetarians who do not want to eat meat and vegans who advocate a political philosophy” .

Consume in less quantity but in better quality

What to add to a gloomy context where meat consumption is declining in France: -12% in ten years according to a recent study by Crédoc which explains it in particular by concerns related to the impact on health as well as its high price. . “This drop in meat consumption has been known for 40 years,” notes the Parisian butcher. One trend is strong: to favor quality over quantity. “Customers buy less and less meat whose history, origin or quality they do not know” he explains.

This consumer interest, the butcher welcomes it. And he says it clearly: “We are bound to move towards better quality meat.” Even though he believes that in France, “since the 1950s, we have been making a product that does not meet expectations”. “The customer wants tender and tasty meat. We must find cattle breeds that correspond to current demand,” he adds. And scrutinize the characteristics of the breeds to ensure the best organoleptic quality of the meat, in particular. A job that he has put in place for many years in his company.

On the industrial side, adaptation to new consumer expectations is inevitable. The organic offer now accounts for 10% of Charal’s activity. And the brand, essential with 97% brand awareness and 15% market share in value of the total meat market, is also targeting new uses of meat with small portions or burgers for several years and which now represent 15% of their activity. Because according to Crédoc, meat is consumed more and more via processed products, especially among the younger generations … Faced with a meat sector facing many challenges, plant products are doing well. According to a Xerfi study in June, the world market for vegetable protein materials is expected to grow by 5.5% per year on average, reaching 11 billion euros in 2020.