Meat production drops ‘significantly’ as Germans spurn the sausage

While consumption of meat in Germany has steadily been declining since 2011, last year meat production dropped significantly compared to the previous year. But some nutritionists say we are still eating too much flesh.

Meat production drops ‘significantly’ as Germans spurn the sausage
A butcher in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Following slight increases in recent years, in 2017, meat production in German slaughterhouses notably dropped by a 'significant' two percent compared to the previous year, reported the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) on Wednesday.  

Last year a total of 8.11 million tonnes of meat were produced, whereas 2016, which was a record year, saw production of 8.28 million tonnes.

The latest Destatis figures also show that similar to in the past, pork is the top meat product consumed by Germans. Still, last year saw a drop in pork production as well as in beef, poultry and duck.

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Meanwhile Germans – who are known the world over for being meat-lovers – are also increasingly eating less totes Tier, according to the “Fleischatlas” report which was published in January. In 2016, they consumed 59 kilograms per person – down from 60,6 kilograms per person the previous year. 

The consumption of meat among Germans has steadily been declining since 2011, the report states, with the sharpest drop between 2015 and 2016.

But according to the Fleischatlas, which is a joint project carried out by the Heinrich Böll Foundation, the German Federation for the Environment and Nature Conservation and newspaper Le Monde Diplomatique, meat consumption in Deutschland is still too high. The project organizers have been calling on Germans to significantly reduce their meat consumption and reduction in livestock numbers.

The German Society for Nutrition recommends a maximum of half the current amount – about 30 kilograms of meat per person per year, reported Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ).

The decline in the production and consumption of meat is reflected in the recent trend for meat-free Christmas markets across the Bundesrepublik.

During the last Christmas season, there were 15 vegan Christmas markets throughout the country – an increase from only ten last year, according to ProVeg, an association for vegetarians in Germany.

“This is definitely a trend and will grow more and more every year,” said Wiebke Unger, a spokesperson for ProVeg.

READ ALSO: The growing German trend for meat-free Christmas markets


German authorities impose second local coronavirus lockdown

Germany on Tuesday placed a second district under lockdown over a coronavirus outbreak at a slaughterhouse, just hours after similar restrictions were imposed for a neighbouring area.

German authorities impose second local coronavirus lockdown
A man wearing a protective suit in the district of Gütersloh after a coronavirus outbreak at a meat plant. Now neighbouring district Warendorf is going into lockdown. Photo: DPA

“In order to protect the population, we are now launching a further safety and security package to effectively combat the spread of the virus,” North Rhine-Westphalia health minister Karl-Josef Laumann said Tuesday, ordering a lockdown for the district of Warendorf.

Authorities had earlier announced similar measures in the neighbouring district of Gütersloh after more than 1,500 workers tested positive for Covid-19 at the slaughterhouse.

Almost 280,000 people live in Warendorf. Businesses and cultural facilities will close, while all schools and daycare centres (Kitas) will also shut their doors.

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In Gütersloh the new lockdown affected 360,000 people living there and will be in place until at least June 30th.

It came after more than 1,500 workers out of a total of nearly 7,000 have tested positive for Covid-19 at the slaughterhouse in Rheda-Wiedenbrück run by Tönnies.

All workers are currently in quarantine. However, authorities are now turning to tougher rules to try and control the spread of coronavirus.

The new lockdown in Gütersloh means a return to measures first introduced in March, with cinemas, museums, concert halls, bars, gyms, swimming pools and saunas shut down.

However, restaurants can remain open with rules in place.

Schools and Kitas were already closed last week in a bid to control the virus.