The USDA projects that beef and pork production will expand steadily between 2016 and 2025. The National Chicken Council, Washington, D.C., however, reports that consumers are eating more chicken than ever—approximately 92 pounds in 2016, according to USDA estimates—and are planning to increase that consumption in the future.

Factors such as case-ready packaging play a major role in the growth of the meat and poultry market. For example, Chicago-based Midan Marketing revealed its Power of Meat survey in which 60% of respondents indicated they considered case-ready packages equal in quality to meat cut in the store. Meanwhile, 23% believed the quality of pre-packaged meat was superior, especially since many of today’s consumers want leak-proof, freezer-ready and resealable packaging.

In a separate report, research from Nielsen, New York, and the Wall Street Journal, New York, showed that sales of grass-fed products were $400 million over a 52-week period ending July 2, 2016. That represents a 50.1% increase.

Rising pork production

Leading indicators suggest that pork production will expand further this year. U.S. personal consumption expenditures for pork is up 4.6% compared with the year-ago level. Internal trends suggest accelerating growth in personal consumption expenditures will persist further during at least the next quarter, which bodes well for further U.S. pork production growth. And, U.S. pork prices and U.S. prepared animal feed prices are rising.

Sustainable seafood soars

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), Washington, D.C., published a comprehensive analysis of the impact of sustainable seafood certification in safeguarding marine resources. The “MSC Global Impacts Report 2017” shows that MSC-certified fisheries target healthy or recovering fish stocks. Overall, certified fisheries target larger populations of fish in the years following certification, and compared to non-certified fisheries, show less variability in the sustainability of target fish stocks.

With certified fisheries currently comprising 12% of global marine catch, MSC’s goal is for 20% of all wild-caught seafood to come from fisheries engaged in the MSC program by 2020. The report demonstrates that with the correct incentives and actions, fisheries can achieve the sustainable performance required to meet SDG 14.

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