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Sweden: The chicken meat consumption is decreasing with more than two million individuals for 2020

Chicken in a hand.
Photo: Shutterstock

Already in 2018 it was clear that Swedes are reducing their meat consumption. Now it is also clear that the decline is accelerating, especially regarding chickens. More than two million fewer chickens were consumed during the first three quarters of 2020, compared to the same period last year. An acknowledgement for the campaign efforts of Djurens Rätt.

The recently published statistics show that the consumption of chickens has accelerated in it’s decrease. The decrease of 2,5 % per Swede means that over two million fewer chickens were consumed for the first nine months in 2020 compared to the same period last year! 116 635 416 chickens were consumed until last September 2019, while “only” 114 565 515 have been consumed this year. 

– These numbers really show that Djurens Rätt’s campaign efforts for chickens have made a huge difference. Meat consumption is decreasing in several locations around the world, but Sweden stands out with the decrease in chicken meat consumption. It is truly fantastic to see that more and more people actively take chickens off their plates, says Camilla Bergvall, president for Djurens Rätt.

The statistics from the Swedish Board of Agriculture also show a decrease in pig meat consumption which can be translated into about 90 000 pigs less being eaten compared to the same period last year. We can happily say that the decrease that we reported about a few months ago has now continued. The vegetarian trend in Sweden continues and the sales of plant based products have been increasing for the last few years. Not only vegetarians and vegans choose to buy these products, they clearly reach the broad majority of Swedes. 

About the campaign “99 miljoner” (99 millions)

More than 99 million chickens are killed in Sweden every year and Djurens Rätt has since 2018 been working hard to decrease that number through the campaign “99 miljoner”. As in many other countries, chickens in Sweden are kept indoors in groups of tens of thousands individuals. They are slaughtered after only 35 days in life, and by that point many of them have problems with their legs because of the fast growth rate.

– The meat industry has made the chicken the most common animal in Sweden, and we often say that chickens are the most in numbers and also those who suffer the worst. The challenge in this is that the industry offers no transparency whatsoever. People never see how the chickens are kept and what their lives are like before they end up in the grocery store cooler, says Camilla Bergvall.

Djurens Rätt calculates the statistics of the amount of individuals eaten based on the Board of Agriculture’s statistics of Sweden’s consumption of meat measured in tonnes.

More information on how Djurens Rätt have calculated and analysed earlier statistics on meat consumption can be read in Swedish here. 

Anna Harenius

Anna Harenius | Sakkunnig

11 december 2020

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