[27 July/Farmers Weekly]

New Zealand’s grass-fed red meat system was damned in a report by Oxford University. It emphasised the need to reduce meat consumption because of health concerns and the impact of its production on the environment. The report suggested Government taxes or health and environment warning labels for meat. It said 4 percent of all meat and 8 percent of beef was produced from grass-fed systems. An Otago University study also suggested a meat tax to discourage buyers. The Oxford report acknowledged the difficulty in implementation. Global meat consumption was rising, driven by pork and chicken. Most of the increase was due to China. Average individual global consumption was estimated to be 122 grams per day. The report noted it was possible to obtain sufficient intakes of nutrients without eating meat. It acknowledged meat production provided employment. It said management of grassland systems could contribute to mitigating climate change, but the benefits were likely to be small.