The true price of meat

Meat production has impacts on the environment, climate, animal welfare and biodiversity. In addition, livestock disease control programmes are paid for by government, while the livestock sector is subsidized. If all these costs were included in sales prices, pork would be 53% more expensive, chicken 26% and beef 40% on average.

These figures were calculated by CE Delft in its report “The true price of meat”. In the Netherlands the biggest impact of meat production is the negative impact of ammonia on air quality. In this country the total annual damage associated with meat consumption amounts to 4.5 billion Euro.

The calculations in this report are based on the methodology used in the Environmental Prices Handbook developed by CE Delft last year at the request of the Dutch ministry of Infrastructure and Environment. Environmental prices are indices that quantify the damage caused by emissions to human health, ecosystems and buildings/materials, expressing it in Euro per kg emission. CE Delft has calculated such prices for over 2,500 pollutants.