Is red meat manufacturing on the rise?

Recent reports from the end of summer 2022 suggest that red meat production is going back to pre-covid levels as the impact of the pandemic starts to subside. A Wales bulletin has analysed manufacturing trends for beef, lamb, and pork in the UK with the most recent evidence showing increases in each red meat type. 

However, it also stated that new external pressures, the main one being price inflation, are having an effect on both consumers and farmers. Figures from the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs have shown that prime lamb slaughtering for each of the first five months of 2022 were above what they were in the previous year. 

So, what does this mean? Well, it is more important now than ever for food equipment manufacturing companies to ensure their processes are running as efficiently, safely, and cost effectively as possible to cope with any increased demand. If you need any help with this, experienced meat processing consultants like our team at FESS Group will be able to help.

Normal red meat slaughter levels 

The total throughput of lambs at UK abattoirs during the first part of the year had increased by 8%. According to statistics this is a clear return to more normal levels that were happening before 2020. In addition, it was reported that the throughput of cull ewes and rams is significantly higher than the levels in 2021 but were in line with the long-term average for the corresponding period. 

The amount of cattle at abattoirs was at 1.3 million during the start of 2022, which is a big recovery on the first half of 2021 which experienced record lows. These numbers indicate that the disturbance and uncertainty surrounding both Brexit and Covid has now become more settled and red meat manufacturing is reverting to normal patterns. 

External factors 

However, the research has shown that other factors have started to come into play which will shift red meat production again. The pressure of inflation has meant consumers have changed their buying habits, with some switching to cheaper cuts of meat and less expensive proteins. In addition, higher input costs are negatively impacting farm balance sheets. 

The combination of extended periods of dry weather and increased feed prices have restricted how many lambs were ready for market at the end of summer. As well as this, high levels of pig slaughtering, 8% higher than the 5-year average, suggests that a number of farmers are cutting back on their stock levels in the supply chain because of price hikes. 

With inflation and the economic crisis putting pressure on every industry in the UK, it’s extremely important that the food manufacturing sector is as efficient as it possibly can be and is taking steps to reduce unnecessary waste and costs. No matter whether the red meat industry rises or falls, efficient processes and having the ability to respond quickly to changing levels of demand is essential. 

How can FESS Group help? 

At FESS we offer professional and effective manufacturing process consulting that focuses on delivering business success and saving you time, effort, and money. Food safety and the efficiency of your food processing equipment are just one part of making your manufacturing operation successful.  

Our team will complete an initial assessment to understand what your challenges are, your aims and ambitions and suggest insightful solutions that you can start to apply straight away. Contact us today to discuss your needs and arrange your assessment.  


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