Podcast: Is animal protein here to stay?

“The way we’ve been growing has to change”

Spoiler alert! Meat isn’t going anywhere. But that doesn’t mean the animal protein industry isn’t changing. What will the sector – and our diets – look like in twenty years? Animal protein strategist Justin Sherrard carves into our meatiest questions.

Listen to this episode of Food Forward here (23 min).

When it comes to animal protein, there’s a clash of demands. On the one hand, we’re consuming more meat than ever. On the other, environmental groups and animal rights activists insist we eat less meat for the sake of the environment and animal welfare.

Stakes for the industry are high, but there’s more to this story than a vegan-versus-carnivore food fight, explains Justin Sherrard, Global Strategist for Animal Protein at Rabobank. To be clear, change is on the horizon – but hotdogs and cheeseburgers aren’t off the menu just yet.

“There’s not a part of the whole animal protein supply chain that shouldn’t be thinking about innovation and how it should change,” cautions Sherrard. In this episode of “Food Forward,” he explains the drivers of change and how industry players can respond. He also clears up misconceptions about global demand for meat and looks ahead to the proteins that will be on our plates in the future.

From the podcast:

On diets and climate change: “It’s a wakeup call to some in the animal protein industry that the way we’ve been growing and doing business in the past is going to have to change.”

The truth about demand: “The rate of people eating more meat is slowing down. But there are more of us, so more meat is being consumed.”

On measuring growth: “We’re seeing a shift away from growing volume to growing value. Instead of building an industry on the basis of more tons, we’re thinking of more dollars.”

On sustainability: “We need to think much more deeply about the impact that meat consumption and production is having on the planet itself.”

On plant-based alternatives: “If you look at the headlines or social media, you might think alternative proteins are already a material part of the market. They’re growing very quickly, but we’re not there yet.”

Will our grandkids eat meat? “You’d eat steak once a week or once a fortnight, but you’d really enjoy it when you have it.”

Food Forward is a new Rabobank podcast featuring the innovators and agriculture experts who are changing the way we produce and consume food. Listen and subscribe on iTunes, RaboCasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts.