There has been a decline in per capita beef and veal consumption caused by the EU economic crisis and reduced supply, according to UK red meat body AHDB Beef & Lamb.

Beef and veal performed relatively well during much of the 2000s, once demand had returned to normal after the BSE crisis on the continent. But there was a downturn in supply availability in 2008 and again in 2012 and 2013.

EU data showed that per capita consumption of beef and veal amounted to 10.6kg retail weight in 2014. This represented a reduction of 1kg, compared with 2009, and was also less than the average figure of 12kg per annum in the 2004-2007 period.

Beef and veal now has a market share of less than 16% of the total EU meat market, compared with over 18% in the mid-2000s.

The result is that it has lost out to poultry meat. Over the same period poultry meat increased its market share from 29% to 33%, per capita consumption in retail weight (22 kg) – almost double that of beef and veal.

In Ireland, chicken consumption is at 26kg per head in 2014, out of a total meat consumption of 87.9kg per head.

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