Theme 7. Circular economy
Meat processing involves the generation of offal and meat co-products. These traditionally are not valued as highly as prime cuts of meat, however co-products can represent a sustainable source of valuable raw material for other sectors if harvested and processing in a controlled way. Uncontrolled, these materials can represent a threat to the environment if not disposed of or processed properly. In this way, they can represent a cost rather than a potential income stream. There is now a critical requirement to sustainably feed a growing global population, and to find renewable bio-based alternatives to fossil-derived food, feed, materials and energy, provide new valorisation opportunities for such biomass. The creation of a circular bio-economy model with positive economic, environmental, and social impacts will increasingly be required to enable the industry to address challenges relating to sustainability. MTI Phase I developed a roadmap describing the wide range of value-streams possible from meat processing. Phase II aims to exploit the opportunities identified through the roadmap process.