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English Red Meat Industry Vital to Economy

23 March 2012, at 3:56pm

ENGLAND, UK - A thriving English red meat industry makes a net contribution of 31.67 billion to the economy making it crucial to a swift recovery, a new study has found.

The Real Value of English Red Meat revealed the English economy would lose £906 million in contributions to employment alone if the red meat sector became unsustainable.

It is the first analysis of its kind to look at the net contribution of the industry, painting the most realistic possible picture of the value the sector brings to the economy and was presented to Farming Minster Jim Paice, MPs and peers.

The report was produced by Matrix Evidence, which provides analysis for policy and management through operational research, economic appraisals and public policy evaluations, and commissioned by EBLEX and BPEX, the English beef and sheep and pig meat divisions of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

Other findings include that of the 96,000 people currently directly employed by the industry, 91,000 of which are in rural areas, just over 20 per cent (20,256) would face unemployment if the English red meat sector was to cease. The demand created by farming in allied industries currently helps support an additional 772,998 jobs.

Welcoming the report, Mr Paice said: “This report proves what we already know – that the red meat industry is a crucial part of our economy. With the global population growing fast, demand for protein is soaring and Britain’s got huge opportunities to export our high quality meat and breeding stock to the world.

“The sector really can generate significant economic growth and jobs, and that’s why this Government is freeing up business from unnecessary burdens and getting them the right support.”

Graham Stuart MP (Conservative, Beverley and Holderness) added: “As this report shows, 96,000 people are employed by the red meat industry and many more jobs are generated because of it. As an MP representing a rural area, many of my constituents are either directly employed in livestock farming or in industries that benefit from a healthy red meat sector.

“As policy makers, it is crucial that we work hard to ensure that we maintain a vibrant and successful rural economy, and recognise the role that a strong and profitable farming sector plays in giving rural communities a sense of cohesion and pride.”

Dr Kevin Marsh, Matrix chief economist and co-author of the study, said: “Matrix’s analysis demonstrates that the red meat industry makes a significant contribution to the English economy; an annual net contribution of £1.67bn. This is as comprehensive and robust an estimate as possible based on the data available from bodies such as Defra and the ONS, and follows HM Treasury guidance for economic analysis.”

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.