For our annual Meat Fish & Poultry special, we asked industry experts to predict how the UK meat industry is set to change between now and 2050.

“Efficient meat consumption will be as important as efficient production ”

Julia Glotz, fresh foods editor

Their predictions are fascinating - and at times disconcerting. And one key word keeps cropping up: efficiency. The consensus is protein producers and suppliers will have to work harder to prove they are making efficient use of increasingly rare resources.

But what responsibilities consumers will have is less clear-cut. Waste avoidance obviously requires consumer buy-in, but I was struck by how many of our experts predicted consumers would become even more convenience-driven and skills-poor. There’s an obvious tension in (rightly) demanding efficiency but at the same time not having the culinary skills for getting the most out of every part of the animal - including those bits that require more effort to be made palatable.

As the need to produce meat efficiently continues to rise up the public agenda, the need to consume it efficiently ought to be debated just as vigorously.