17.11.2014

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If the current trend in global meat demand persists, meat production will need to rise from 300 million tons today to 470 million tons by 2050. Climate and our natural resources would lose out, our author warns.

In contrast, demand for meat is growing rapidly in the five major emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, known by their acronym BRICS. In the BRICS countries, which combined represent 40 per cent of the world population, meat consumption rose by 6.3 per cent per year between 2003 and 2012, with a further 2.5 per cent increase per year being expected for the 2013-2022 period. This means that approximately 80 per cent of the world’s meat sector growth by 2022 will occur in developing countries (see also Figure at the end of the article).

There are, however, major differences in consumption structures in the world’s two most populous countries, China and India.

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