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"Consumption trends for dairy and livestock products, and the use of feeds in production, in the CEE accession and candidate countries"

The assessment report "Consumption trends for dairy and livestock products and the use of feeds in production in the CEE Accession and Candidate Countries" by the Network of Independent Experts and the Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe (IAMO) identifies the determining demand factors of food consumption and feed use within the extended EU food markets. Consumption and feed use trends are the major driving factors of future developments on agricultural markets. Accession as well as the CAP Reform strengthen the importance of these trends by providing more market orientation to farmers and food industries.

Meat and dairy consumption generally faced a sharp decline during the early nineties in most accession countries. During that time meat and dairy consumption declined by 10-20% and fell significantly below the per capita consumption in the EU-15. The structure of meat consumption changed significantly: Beef and mutton consumption declined sharply while that of pork and especially for poultry developed positively. Milk consumption also fell, and - with some exceptions - did not recover in the late nineties. An increasing demand for high value products like cheese and fresh milk products is observed. The prospects for meat and dairy consumption remain positive and indicate a growing market especially for high quality and high value added products.

According to the report the determinants and effects of changes in meat consumption patterns are income and the related effects of consumption away form home and growing convenience, prices, health consciousness. To a lesser extent however environmental concerns play a role in the decision of consumers. Sheep, pig and poultry meat are considered trendy, positively income elastic and healthy. Health consciousness and convenience have a strong impact for dairy products that are partly seen as substitutes for meat products. Fruit and vegetable products will increasingly substitute products with high fat content and continuously expand its position in the consumption basket of consumers in the Accession and Candidate Countries. The expected positive income trends, which are currently twice as high as in the EU-15 on average, will further strengthen these developments and contribute to a considerable market expansion for white meats, high value dairy products, food preparations and fruits and vegetables.

The developments of food markets will indirectly influence the feed usage. Especially the use of protein rich feeds could be expected to increase. Cereals will play their most important part in poultry and pork production. Legume feeds are expected to increase in beef and milk production. Despite these expectations, pasture and other roughage will still play a major role in beef and dairy production, which is on average significantly less intensive than in the current Member States.

Published in January 2004.

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