Meat supply chain must change to accommodate growing marketAlthough 2010 saw an uptick in demand for meat since the industry was hit hard during the economic crisis two years ago, the supply chain still must change if the sector will continue to survive and thrive, said Richard Brown, director of market analyst firm Gira.

Speaking at the World Meat Congress, Brown stated that the United States and Brazil were in a strong position as meat producers and poised to move forward in the industry. Russia, too, will continue to important large quantities of meat. The big mystery, he continued, is China, whose growing population of meat-eaters is adding American staples such as beef to a diet that has historically included meats that Westerners shun, such as chicken and duck feet.

"China is the big question for us all to face. How much will they eat, and where will it come from?" Brown asked.

Brown also pointed out the growing number of mergers and acquisitions in the global meat industry.

"We've seen a lot of MA activity, mainly out of Brazil, and all of us need to think about the impact of that activity," he said. "However, it is difficult to see that there will be the concentration in the meat industry that will allow the companies to exert their power like the big seed companies and others. They're unlikely to ever have that satisfaction."
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