Influence of Government Nutrition Advice on Markets

Newsletter No. 39 - Item 5

Heart disease, diabetes and obesity are major health issues in first world countries.  This is leading to advice on diet; recently there has been an increasing shift on the advice given and this does have an impact on the demand for particular foods.  The various industries then have to respond to those changes in consumer demand.

The British Domesticated Ostrich Association (BDOA) can report a direct experience on this.  The BDOA recently published an article in a magazine read by the British government ministers and senior advisors.  On the day of publication we were approached to write a further 2 page article for a wide circulation review publication.  They ordered the article to be placed alongside a report from DEFRA (The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) that will be discussing healthy eating and agricultural related environmental issues.

The reason for the approach is that our government recognise Ostrich as fitting into their current nutritional advice to eat unprocessed food and low fat meat and would like to encourage increased consumption of ostrich.  In addition they recognise the environmental benefits as a result of the feed efficiency of Ostrich and alfalfa, which is a major component of their diet.

Malnutrition in Asia and The Pacific
The WOA has a number of members from this region.  All are driven by belief in the potential of ostrich to be an efficient producer of meat protein.  At the other end of the scale the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations) has recently called for redoubling efforts and investments to overcome malnutrition in Asia and the Pacific.   The full report article can be viewed here.

The article references quotes from the FAO referencing 35% of the world’s undernourished population residing in South Asia, with the prevalence of underweight, stunting and wasting the highest in the world today.

The article states that the developing countries in the region now have the world’s highest growth rates for the production and consumption of food derived from livestock.   They quote the growth in food and agriculture production helping to raise the incomes of farmers and the wages of unskilled labourers.  The graphic outlining an agriculture cluster is discussed here, illustrates how a strong agriculture economy can benefit many people.

Quote:  “Only nine years separate us from 2015, the date by which the world's leaders pledged to halve hunger and extreme poverty. Despite this commitment, the state of hunger and malnutrition in the world remains as distressing as in 1996, when the World Food Summit was held. At this half-way stage, it now seems that unless we redouble our efforts in the next years, our objective will not be attained until 2150”, concluded Dr Diouf.  End quote
[Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) - 20th May 2006].

Ostrich production does have a contributing role to play in helping to provide meat protein efficiently.

Can we meet the challenge to gear up production to produce sufficient volume to provide a meaningful contribution in both these situations?

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