Poultry meat consumption is growing in popularity in Ireland as per-capita intake there approaches the highest in the European Union.

“Irish people are consuming 6 percent more poultry than they were in 2014 and the meat is growing in popularity, Peter Duggan, Poultry Specialist at the Irish Food Board, Bord Bia, has told Agriland.

Duggan attributed this increase to a decline in poultry meat prices and to a report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2015 linking red meat consumption to health problems in people, following which white meat purchases may have benefited, he said.

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“There’s been a growth in production and consumption forecast and poultry has been growing in popularity since 2010,” Duggan added.

In 2011 – the last year for which the agency published data, FAOstat put poultry meat consumption at 21.44 kilograms per person per year, on a downward trend from a peak of more than 32kg in 2005. This decline could be due, at least in part, to the difficulties experienced during the economic crisis in the country following the global crash in 2008.

The European Association of Poultry Meat Producers and Exporters (AVEC) offers more recent statistics from its members’ sources. In 2014, per-capita poultry meat consumption in Ireland is put at 30.4 kilograms, well above the EU average of 26.8 kilograms. Only citizens in Portugal with 39.0 kg, Spain with 31.0 kg and Hungary with 30.5 kg per person and year ate more poultry meat in the EU that year.