Organic meat demand outweighs supply

13-07-2006 | |

Demand for organic meat products is far outweighing supply, and the trend is likely to continue, according to Organic Monitor.

In North America, supply has been unable to meet demand since the USDA implemented the National Organic Program (NOP) in 2002. Organic meat products have been imported into the US from Latin America, Australasia and Canada since then.

Western Europe is also experiencing acute supply shortages. Organic meat supply has not kept pace with demand with a number of countries reporting undersupply this year. Danish Crown, the largest producer of organic pork, has reported a 36% price rise compared to last year.

Facing high demand, British retailers have started offering fixed contracts to organic meat producers to secure supply. Sainsbury’s and Tesco are giving meat producers contracts that guarantee fixed prices over 5 years. Although the initiatives are gaining acceptance by organic farmers, imports will continue to play an important role because of low domestic production levels. Like the US, organic meats are imported from a number of countries into the UK.

Organic meat supply is also tightening in regions like Latin America and Oceania. Countries like Brazil and Australia have export-geared meat industries with organic meats playing an increasingly important role. High global demand is leading new organic meat producers to spring up in countries like Chile and Nicaragua.

With demand for organic foods continuing to strengthen across the globe, organic meat supply shortages are expected to continue in the foreseeable future. Production will continue to lag demand in most countries because of the conversion period for organic products.

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