The global meat industry has experienced a turbulent year in 2012, from feed shortages to import and export bans. We round up the top 10 most-read stories on GlobalMeatNews.com in 2012.
US meat processors hit back at accusations that ammonia-treated boneless lean beef trimmings, which were dubbed ‘pink slime’, were harmful to health. The American Meat Institute (AMI) refuted a claim made by the former US Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientist, Gerald Zirnstein, that 70% of ground beef sold in US supermarkets contained ‘pink slime’.
Although not an individual news story, Processing Equipment & Plant Design is a GlobalMeatNews.com category where the latest news on machinery and equipment can be found. The category keeps those in the meat industry abreast of the latest news from the equipment sector.
Authorities in Russia considered imposing an additional tax on what they called “unhealthy” meat producers. The tax was to form part of a proposal by the National Union of Consumer’s Rights Protection to Russia’s Ministry of Finance to tackle high-fat products, as well as the use of antibiotics in meat.
Russia considered banning all meat imports from Brazil and Argentina as a result of their “poor monitoring of quality compliance”. It was Russia’s Federal Services for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor) that deemed compliance to be poor. During a meeting with the Brazilian animal and plant protection secretary Enio Marques, head of Rosselkhoznadzor Sergei Dankvert said: “Rosselkhoznadzor considers the possibility of expanding the list of Brazilian companies certified to export to Russia as very problematic because of the lack of guarantees provided by the Veterinary Service of Brazil.”
In April the British Meat Processors’ Association (BMPA) criticised the European Commission’s ban on ‘desinewed meat’ (DSM), which is a product obtained by using low pressure to separate meat from bones. BMPA director Stephen Rossides called the ban a “criminal waste of a valuable product”.
Indian correspondent for GlobalMeatNews.com Raghavendra Verma reported in October that India was to be the world’s largest exporter of beef this year. According to a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Livestock and Poultry-World Market trade report, worldwide demand was rising for Indian beef and it was predicted exports were to rise to 1.5 million tonnes (mt) by the end of the year. Whether the country succeeded in exporting more than the current leading exporter, which is Australia (1.4mt), remains to be seen in 2013.
It was an announcement that left the UK’s meat industry in shock as more than 13,000 jobs were put at risk. Although the UK is still feeling the fallout of Vion NV’s decision to sell its UK operations to focus on its European business, the company has since sold its pork division in a management buyout, which could see around 4,000 jobs saved.
After a group of 13 UK halal scholars met, a new Shariah-compliant halal certification scheme for the food industry was created. The group of scholars, named as the Halal Authority Board (HAB), hoped the new certification scheme would be adopted as a worldwide standard.
In March the American meat industry was worried about the consequences of a decision made by major retailers to stop selling ground beef that contained lean, finely textured trimmings (LFTB), more commonly known as ‘pink slime’. The National Meat Association (NMA) was concerned that if retailers stopped selling ground beef containing LFTB, then thousands of jobs would be lost in the sector. Meanwhile the American Meat Institute (AMI) voiced concerns about the shortfall in cattle the industry would see as a result of the decision and said: “AMI estimates that without LFTB, the industry would need 1.5m additional head of cattle to make up the difference in the beef supply.”
Most read story of 2012
June saw Philip Ridley of nutritional charity the Weston A. Price Foundation tell GlobalMeatNews.com that environmental groups were potentially causing risk to human health and the environment by recommending low-meat diets. Ridley said: “Grass fed meat has a healthy balance of omega 3 and omega 6 and is rich in minerals and vitamins A and K2.” He also explained that animals produced vitamin D from sunshine and said the “demonisation” of livestock also put the world’s farmland at great risk, as the grazing of livestock builds up land fertility and top soil, which is vital for vegetable and grain growth.