October 19, 2022


Poultry production failed to keep up with demand in Ireland last year



Poultry was the only meat where production did not meet domestic demand in Ireland in 2021, according to new figures from the CSO.


Last year, the total supply of meat in Ireland fell by 3%, or 37,000 tonnes, to 1.4m tonnes. Beef and veal accounted for 637,000 tonnes, or 45%, of this total.


Total slaughtering fell by 2%, with pigs being the only category of slaughtering to increase, by 5%, or 15,000 tonnes in 2021. The largest decline in slaughtering was in beef and veal, which decreased by 39,000 tonnes to 595,000 tonnes.


Net exports fell by 47,000 tonnes to 707,000 tonnes, while beef and veal accounted for 40,000 tonnes of this reduction.


Poultry meat was the only category of meat with net imports, as imports exceeded exports by 19,000kg.


Ireland's self-sufficiency in total meat fell by 19% to 267% in 2021 when compared with 2020.


While self-sufficiency increased for pig meat by 8% to 240%, and sheep meat by 3% to 361%, the rate fell by 51% to 661% for beef and veal and from 100% in 2020 for poultry meat to 90% in 2021.


Commenting on the release, statistician Mairead Griffin said that this information provides an insight into the source of meat in the Irish market and how this meat is used.


"With food security becoming increasingly topical, knowing how much meat is consumed by the Irish population and the degree to which Irish agriculture can meet this demand is important," Griffin said. "In 2021, the supply of meat in the Irish market fell by 37,000 tonnes to 1.4 million tonnes.


"Of the available supply, beef and veal accounted for 45%, followed by pig meat [30%], and poultry meat [21%]. Sheep meat accounted for just 5% of total meat supply."


The self-sufficiency rate measures the extent to which the production of meat within the state can meet domestic demand, Griffin explained.


"Any rate over 100% means that we produce more meat than we require to meet the needs of Irish consumers," she said. "Between 2020 and 2021, Ireland's self-sufficiency rate for total meat fell by 19% to 267%.


"With a self-sufficiency rate of 90% in 2021, poultry meat was the only meat where production did not meet domestic demand."

- Irish Examiner

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