British Meat Processors Association
British Meat Processors Association
variety of healthy food types

Scotland pioneers research into effects of meat reduction on people and the planet

In response to calls from the Climate Change Committee (CCC) to “take low-cost, low-regret actions to encourage a 20% shift away from all meat by 2030, rising to 35% by 2050”, The Scottish Government has commissioned research to model the potential impacts, good and bad. The findings paint a surprising picture.

Food Standards Scotland (FSS), in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh, is the first organisation in the UK to address this issue and what they’ve found will inform the debate in the other devolved nations.

While the prevailing assumption is that such an ‘across the board’ reduction in meat and dairy would benefit both human health and mitigate climate change, the findings show that it “cannot be recommended as micronutrient intakes may be worsened among those with already low intakes.”

It transpires that, in general, already falling meat consumption in Scotland means that any further reduction risks damage to people’s health.

Interestingly, the report also shows that, by encouraging the small subgroup of people who consume more than recommended, a 16% reduction in total meat consumption could be achieved, which would represent 80% of the original CCC target.

So, far from nudging people to reduce further, the FSS advises that simply following the Eatwell Guide should be promoted to make general improvements to the Scottish diet whilst still making significant progress towards the CCC target. Quality Meat Scotland’s comment explains how.

You can read the full report here.

About BMPA

The British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) is the leading trade association for the meat and meat products industry in the UK.

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