Impressive findings on meat-free sector

Helen Rossiter

Press officer , Viva!

Sir; I would like to congratulate The Grocer for recognising the impressive growth for vegetarian and meat-free food ('Meat-free cooks up a storm', The Grocer, 2 February, p39). We support these findings because we have never been busier offering people advice about becoming vegetarian or vegan. Making this choice can improve your health, help save animals and reduce environmental destruction. Becoming vegetarian is a long-term goal for many. Britain is eating less meat than ever before. According to Mintel, 5%-6% of the UK population is now vegetarian. In Britain, the number of vegans has increased 10 fold in the past 10 years, up to a million. According to a 2007 survey for the Linda McCartney brand, 10% of Brits eat no red meat and 31 million people are eating vegetarian most of the time. A decline in slaughter shows that 20 million fewer chickens were killed in Britain, and two million fewer turkeys. Even taking into account all imports, exports and domestic production, poultry meat consumption in the UK fell 32,000 tonnes. Some 70,000 fewer pigs were slaughtered - the lowest number of animals killed since Defra records began. Overall pigmeat consumption fell 43,000 tonnes.