Pork Gaining on Poultry

Poultry will continue to top the global meat market in terms of production, but pork is making gains on white meat, according to a recent report released by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

FAO predicts global pork production to reach 118.2 million metric tons in 2017, up 1 million metric tons from the agency’s 2016 forecast.

Other meats markets are expanding, too. Bovine meat will rise to 69.5 million metric tons in 2017, up 1.7 percent from 2016, and Ovine meat will inch up to 14.5 million metric tons, a 0.6 percent increase.

In a new report, USDA’s Economic Research Service evaluated the final outcome of the 2014-2015 outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in the United States, concluding that the spread of the actual disease was not as big an effect as the closing of key export markets.

For example, producers who lost birds or entire flocks to the disease were negatively affected, but other producers gained from the increase in prices that followed the reduction in supply.

ERS also commented that the agency pulled together a lot of financial and operational support for the industry during the ’14-’15 outbreak, and sought to improve its policy and planning for future potential outbreaks.

Shoppers may be overwhelmed by the amount of information provided in food labels, according to another ERS study on the impact of federally verified organic and nutrition labels, as well as the proliferation of voluntary label claims such as “natural”.

Labels can also mislead consumers, the report says, because food suppliers may offer only information that increases demand for their products. As a result, “instead of facilitating economic activity, labels may increase inefficiency in the marketplace,