Being a commodity-driven activity, meat production will at all times be an endeavour to fulfil requirements from markets and consumer organisations in whatever form these may take. During the recent decades the focus of consumers has gradually changed towards more emphasis on quality and animal welfare, which has implied a widening of the concept of meat quality. Definitely the welfare issue will have a growing and important influence on the concept of meat quality and should somehow be incorporated in future production strategies. To avoid regulations of the production based on mistrust, which have been imposed in some countries, more openness is required. This is particularly important if more sophisticated genetic tools are being implemented to improve characteristics regardless of whether they are related to production or to meat quality, as consumer organisations or other interest groups would probably find the implementation of genetically modified animals even more offensive than the implementation of genetically modified plants. We may also see a reduction in the sales of fresh meat and an increase in processed meat of various kinds in retail. Such a change will result in demands for meat with specific processability characteristics. The wider concept of meat quality and the increasing demand for meat with specific properties will definitely imply a larger diversity in selection schemes in the future. 

P. Henckel

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 2002. Session 11, , 11.12, 2002
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