Reading Time: < 1 minute Consumers are opting for more meat-free alternatives (Photo: Adobe. Do not use without permission)
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Beef farmers in Bristol are being hit by the rise of veganism, according to a catering and hospitality expert.

Alex Demetriou is the managing director of Regency which supplies the UK catering industry. He says demand for beef has fallen by five percent compared to the same time last year.

He cited multiple factors for the decline, including the impact of impending Brexit, and the rise in vegan and vegetarian lifestyles.

‘Vegan movement’

“It appears as if this has been driven by the vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian movement, which is becoming increasingly popular as a lifestyle choice rather than any kind of trend,” Demetriou told Bristol Live.

“There was an increase in slaughtering in the first quarter because of all the uncertainty around Brexit and the potential impact on the beef markets if we had left the EU at the end of March, as intended.”

‘Beef farmers in the red’

According to industry outlet Farmers Weekly, the problems for beef farmers spread beyond Bristol.

It claims falling demand is a result of consumers being ‘assaulted by a variety of negative messages about red meat, including warnings over obesity, cancer and the effect of cattle on the environment’.

It says this is leading to falling demand in both the retail and hospitality sectors, and quotes Ulster Farmers Union beef and lamb chairman, Sam Chesney as saying: “I would say most beef farmers are definitely in the red at the moment.”

Maria Chiorando

Maria is a news and features writer for Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. She was previously the editor of Plant Based News for over 3 years.