Sustainability in the Meat Industry, A Top Theme at IFFA 2022

IFFA 2019 Jochen Günther / Messe Frankfurt

Sustainability is a catalyst for change and innovation in the meat industry. Political requirements and nutrition-conscious consumers are driving producers and manufacturers to act. Additional pressure is being generated by the global debate on climate protection and resource conservation. The meat processing industry is responding to this with technological innovations, but also with fundamental corporate commitments to sustainable solutions

The discussion about sustainable production in the meat processing industry essentially concerns issues of environmental protection, health, and animal welfare. In connection with climate protection, the high CO2 emissions, the equally high water consumption, and the packaging waste produced, which consists mainly of plastic packaging, are the focus of criticism.

The influence of meat consumption on the greenhouse effect is undisputed. In Germany alone, 42.7 million tons of CO2 per year are attributable to meat consumption, in addition to the water consumption of 60 trillion liters. The average water footprint per calorie is particularly high for beef, about twenty times higher than for cereals. It is estimated that switching to a diet, low in meat, could result in water savings of 11 to 35 percent[1].

It is not only since the “Fridays for Future” movement that more and more consumers are questioning their dietary behavior. In addition to environmental aspects, they are particularly concerned about animal welfare. According to a Eurobarometer survey conducted in April 2021, around one-third of Europeans buy and eat less meat, and 16 percent take the carbon footprint of their food into account when shopping and adjust their purchases accordingly. Meat substitutes based on plant proteins as well as vegan and vegetarian alternatives are experiencing a real boom and reflect the trend toward sustainable and animal-friendly foods[2]. IFFA 2022 picks up this trend and will open up to alternative protein sources. In addition to its focus on meat, the trade show will present processing technologies and ingredients for plant-based proteins for the first time.

From May 14 to 19, 2022, IFFA, the Leading International Trade Fair – Technology for Meat and Alternative Proteins, will open its doors in Frankfurt am Main. Internationally renowned companies will present their latest technologies and provide information on the most important trends and developments in the meat and protein processing industry.

One of the top topics at IFFA is sustainability: the EU wants to become climate-neutral by 2050, which also poses major challenges for the meat and protein processing industry as well as the packaging industry. They must improve their energy efficiency and productivity in a way that contributes to the conservation of the world’s natural resources.