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Weekly Round Up - 9th October

The Weekly Round Up series is a regular post with of all the most recent news.

People are eating less red meat but more white meat

A study by the University of Oxford says that daily consumption of red meat has fallen by 17% over the last 10 years. But the National Food Strategy (www.nationalfoodstrategy.org/) wants to increase that reduction to 30% over the next 10 years to help the environment.

Scientists at the University say a tax on red meat such as beef, lamb and pork could prevent about 6,000 deaths per year in the UK and save more than £700m in UK healthcare costs.

The study, published in the journal Lancet Planetary Health, showed that while most people are eating less red and processed meat compared to a decade ago, they are eating more white meat.

For further information see https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanplh/article/PIIS2542-5196(21)00228-X/fulltext

Pork crisis could affect supply

The UK could face a shortage of pork this winter as a lack of butchers disrupt supplies, industry leaders have said. Pig farmers and those involved in the British pork industry have warned that a shortage of butchers could see up to 120,000 animals slaughtered on farms will not go into the food chain but will be sent for incineration.

Pig farmers are calling for a temporary visa scheme to bring more butchers into the UK, and the leader of the National Pig Association (NPA) said the industry was in daily contact with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs but so far they have offered no solutions to the problem and that Britain was facing a welfare disaster.

Further reductions were expected in the number of animals transported to abattoirs because there were not enough meat processing workers to deal with them and that a combination of post-Brexit immigration rules and a lack of foreign workers amid constantly changing pandemic restrictions on travel had caused the crisis.

See more at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-58749841

Gas price increases hitting food industry

Cafés and takeaways use a lot of energy whether gas or electricity, and many appliances are used during food preparation and cooking. On top of that is the energy needed for heating and lighting particularly during winter. Over £400 million a year is spent on energy by the UK catering industry.

Additionally, the UK meat industry has warned that supplies of chicken, beef and pork could soon be hit by the huge rises in the cost of natural gas.

The government says that rising gas prices is a global problem, and is working closely with energy stakeholders to discuss the impact of the increased wholesale gas prices. People should not worry about their energy supply because there is an established process in place to ensure that electricity and gas stays on.

If your gas supplier ceases trading the energy regulator Ofgem (Office of Gas and Electricity Markets) will find another supplier to provide you with energy and your credit balance will move with you. You are advised not try and switch to a new supplier until you are contacted by whoever Ofgem appoints to take over your account.

For more see https://www.gov.uk/government/news/rising-gas-prices-protections-for-consumers

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