Academic journal article European Journal of Sustainable Development

Sustainable Development of the Polish Meat Industry after Accession to the European Union

Academic journal article European Journal of Sustainable Development

Sustainable Development of the Polish Meat Industry after Accession to the European Union

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

The concept of sustainable development was raised on die international (UN) forum in the 1970s. The most widespread is the definition from die Brundtland Report stating diat sustainable development is: "development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs''. Sustainable development is the drive at improvement of die quality of life while maintaining social equity, biodiversity and abundance of natural resources. This definition points to die interrelations between die economic zone of human activity, limited resources of die environment that constitute die natural barrier to die possibilities to meet the needs, and ediical imperative of ensuring social cohesion on a local and global scale [PoniatowskaJaksch 2010]. For die needs of diis paper it was assumed diat sustainable development of die meat industry should consider the following aspects:

* economic aspect - food industry, including also meat industry, is one of die basic links in die food chain, apart from agricultural producers and trade; as many odier sectors of the economy it also contributes to the generation of die Gross Domestic Product and it makes for reduction of trade deficit in Poland since die export of meat and its products exceeds import;

* social aspect - apart from die obvious fact, which is ensuring jobs, meat industry contributes also to die creation of quality changes in respect to agricultural raw materials, e.g. by higher requirements for their producers; it reaches out to the tastes and expectations of die consumers regarding die quality, selection and price of die produced food; it mitigates die growdi of die buying-in price of die slaughter animals since the

changes in die selling prices on its part are usually much lower dian those in retail trade. But it is also very important to ensure food safety to the consumer.

* environmental aspect - meat industry has direct and indirect impact on die natural environment because it generates solid, liquid and gas wastes as well as it obtains raw materials for processing (slaughter animals) [Mroczek 2012].

The paper focuses only on some of die above-mentioned issues. The term meat industry means Processing and preserving of meat, excluding poultry meat covered by the PKDUO.ll and Production of meat and poultry meat products (PKD 10.13). Poultry industry is included in PKD 10.12 as processing and preserving of poultry meat.

2. Basic information on meat and poultry meat industry in Poland

Meat industry is die largest section of food industry in Poland. In 2012, die value of sold production of meat industry (including poultry meat - PTN 14 billion) amounted to ca. PTN 55 billion (in current prices)1 2, which accounted for ca. 27.7% of die value of sold production of food industry3. Meat and poultry meat industry enterprises employ ca. Ill diousand persons4, which represents ca. 27% of all diose working in the entire food industry (excluding tobacco industry).

In 2004-2012, the number of large enterprises (employing 250 and more workers) in meat and poultry meat industry remained at die same level, i.e. ca. 75 and 20 companies, respectively. Greater changes occurred in die remaining groups of enterprises, especially in small and micro-companies. The number of small companies in meat industry dropped, in die analysed period, by ca. 16%, and micro-companies by 45%, while in poultry meat industry by 33% and 30%, respectively. In case of medium-sized companies, i.e. employing from 49 to 249 workers, these changes progressed differentiy, since in the first four years after Poland's integration with die European Union dieir number increased, and after 2008 it started decreasing (Table 1). This signifies meat sector industrialisation processes taking place in Poland. The largest enterprises are getting increasingly stronger and the small companies are losing widi diem, which does not, however, mean that diey are fighting a losing battie, because diey too have a place on die market (niche and local markets). …

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