Meat processing in Germany comes under pressure

In recent weeks, meat processing in Germany has come under increasing criticism. The Corona pandemic did not stop at the slaughterhouses. With many people working together in confined spaces, often in shared accommodation and commuting to work together, it is almost impossible to comply with the applicable distance regulations. However, the working conditions which have now been criticised are also a consequence of the high economic pressure to which companies are exposed.
While German consumers buy as much meat as they do in other European countries, they are not prepared to pay as much for it as in other countries. For example, meat accounts for only 2.2 per cent of the German basket of goods, i.e. the selection of goods that is intended to cover all goods and services in order to determine price changes. In the European Union as a whole, it is already 3.5 percent, in France 3.6 percent and in Italy even 3.8 percent. However, meat consumption per capita in these countries is no higher than in Germany. The Spanish even spend 4.6 percent of their total expenditure on purchases and services on meat. However, more meat is consumed in Spain than in Germany, France or Italy.

In comparison between the large European countries, Germans therefore spend by far the least money on meat, although they do not consume less. After all, both producer prices and consumer prices for meat have risen above average in Germany in recent years. This applies in a European comparison as well as in a domestic comparison with other food products and the general price development. The trend is therefore moving in the right direction: good quality is simply more expensive.

However, there is still a considerable backlog in the price level for meat. The problem seems to have been recognised, but there is still a long way to go before it is rectified. However, a sustained change in the minds of German consumers would be a basic prerequisite for this.

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