Shifting Taste for Canadians

by Nao Emzed on Septembre 16, 2015 - 6:02pm

In a world where being vegan has now become trendy, some of us are questioning meat consumption and as always, we face the eternal moral dilemma between eating meat or not. Despite our heritage  of proud Canadian producers,  it seems like we are starting to change our consumer's habits: according to a Globe and Mail article, the profit margins in the food industry dropped by nearly 1% this year.

Many causes can explain this fact. First of all,with the aging population of the country, people tend to buy less red meat, as it's not recommended by specialists for health reasons. Then, there is the immigration factor: Canada welcomes foreigners that consume less animal proteins than us, either for cultural or religious motives. Moreover, since the economic recession of 2008, prices have gone up and people therefore explored other options. Since 1999, Statistics Canada mentions that the annual meat consumption per capita in Canada decreased by 31% for pork and by 19% for beef, even if the average income per family increased. 

Actually, the potential industry growth is very limited in Canada since the domestic market is already mature. Yet, Canadian companies found a way to continue to make profit: they changed their market, as the best way to boost the sales is to offer products in the U.S, where the recent value drop of the Candian dollar became an advantage. That's good news for us, as our food industry is the largest national sector of our production, employing around 260 000 people all across Canada. 

To conclude, even though Candians eat less meat, the global economy isn't suffering: creative and smart investors just found another way to sell products : exportation. However, reading this article made me wonder about another aspect of meat consumption : it's good to be worried about the economic cost of meat, but shouldn't we be more concerned about its environmental one?