Meat consumption is falling in Sweden, but production is on the rise

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Meat consumption is falling in Sweden, but production is on the rise
Are meatballs and sausages falling out of favour? Photo: Anders Wiklund / SCANPIX

People in Sweden are eating less meat than they have done for ten years, according to new figures from the Swedish Board of Agriculture.


In 2018, meat consumption in Sweden fell for the second year in a row. On average, people ate 83.5 kilograms of meat that year, which is 2.2 kilograms less than in 2017.

And the decline in meat-eating is likely to continue, experts believe.

"Sometimes you can see that things like illnesses and financial crises have affected meat consumption in the short term, but now there are several trends coinciding which mean that it's probably going to continue falling," explained Åsa Lannhardt, an agripolitical commissioner at the Board of Agriculture, speaking to SVT Nyheter.


However, production of Swedish meat, and red meat in particular, has increased over the past 12 months.

Production of beef, pork and lamb all increased by between 3.6 and 6.5 percent, while poultry production fell by 1.5 percent.

This means that the proportion of Swedish meat eaten in Sweden rose and the proportion of imported meat fell, thanks to a combination of demand, stable prices for producers, and a growing interest in locally farmed and sustainable food.

It was only the second consecutive row that meat imports fell, after a steady increase since Sweden entered the European Union.

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