EU Beef Market
Beef is central to the diet of millions of consumers across Europe and the European Union is a major producer of high quality beef. Beef livestock production in the European Union (EU) is underpinned by strict food safety legislation that is recognized as the most stringent worldwide.
The EU produces about 7.5m tonnes of beef annually. This makes the EU the 3rd largest beef producer in the world behind the US and Brazil.
Livestock production across the EU relies heavily on fresh grass and conserved grass (silage/hay). Europe with its relatively small to medium size family farms lacks the vast industrial feedlots that are prevalent in other countries where intense corporate farming is the norm. In contrast, in the EU cattle usually graze outdoors for most of their life. Grazing is most commonly practiced in the main cattle rearing countries of Ireland, France, Spain & Germany where the climate is milder In Ireland, climate conditions are conducive to grass growth for up to 300 days per year.
European consumers are demanding about the beef they purchase and consumers want their beef produced in an environmentally sustainable manner in open spaces and from healthy animals. They also want their beef to be safe and natural with an emphasis on traceability and food safety.