800,000 capons and more than 500,000 turkey hens, despite a cut of 1% on food spending. Meat, according to Federconsumatori data, it still the leitmotif of many traditional dishes consumed during Christmas festivities on the tables of Italian families. Poultry, in particular - chicken, capon, turkey and guinea fowl - is extremely popular, confirming the positive trend that characterized the entire market during 2014.
There are clear reasons for the success of this sector. “This confirms current market trends,” as explained to Eurocarne Post by Aldo Muraro, President of the National Union of Meat and Eggs supply chains (Unaitalia), “with a slight increase for production and consumption, as is also happening in the rest of Europe. This is thanks to well-known features such as poultry meat's good taste, easy digestion and versatility together with the more favourable cost/protein ratio compared to other meats, not the least in relation to the current economic crisis.”
Indeed, according to a survey by Unaitalia, poultry may well become in the near future the most widely eaten meat in Italy and in the world, overtaking even red meat. With per capita consumption of 13.3 kg, poultry in fact leads the global ranking of the most popular meats, followed by pork with 12.2, beef with 6.6 kg and lamb-mutton-goat with 1.7 kg. And statistics suggest that by 2022 this figure will increase by 19% to 14.5 kg per capita, which is considerably more favourable than estimated growth in demand in other segments.
These figures are also backed up by numerous scientific researches carried out in recent years highlighting how this type of meat is also good for health. These include the study by doctors at the Zhejiang Cancer Hospital showing how preference for poultry at table can reduce by up to 31% the risk of developing liver cancer. In nutritional terms, according to researchers, white meat - like fish - is rich in unsaturated fatty acids having extraordinary anti-inflammatory capabilities and has less cholesterol and saturated fat than red meat.
To provide even more proof of all this, Unaitalia teamed up with Assica and Assocarni, two major beef and pork trade associations to develop project called ‘sustainable Meat’ which highlights chronicles the views of producers in terms of nutritional, territorial, economic and social sustainability of the livestock sector. According to Director Lara Sanfrancesco, “eating meat in the right amounts, relying on the advice of doctors and nutritionists in relation to age and lifestyles not only does not cause harm but is actually essential in providing our bodies with all the nutrients needed to stay healthy and live better. Our task as meat producers is to inform and reassure consumers about the correctness of their choice, especially when faced by the inevitable confusion created by contradictory and alarmist messages that are often full-scale hoaxes that we find on the various information tools we use every day”.
Source: Eurocarne Outlook