Working paper

Is there a win-win scenario with both limited beef production and reduced beef consumption?

Louis-Georges Soler, and Alban Thomas


In the scientific literature, the debate on health and environmental benefits of a reduction in the share of animal-sourced food, in particular beef, in consumer diets is mostly focused on demand-side vs. supply transitions. We claim in this paper that a win-win scenario may exist where consumer preferences towards quality meat in diets are accompanied by a transition in livestock production systems towards a separating equilibrium in meat quality. Lower beef consumption per head, of higher quality and lower environmental impact, may co-exist with lower-quality beef production for exports. We examine the credibility of the win-win scenario, by detailing conditions related to determinants for reduced beef consumption, productivity gains, innovation in quality and environmental impacts at the global scale. We propose a set of research priorities and recommendations for policy makers. Policies that are best suited for accompanying transition in food and livestock production system can be identified by a cost-benefit analysis at the global scale.


Beef consumption; food system transition; cost-benefit analysis; demand for quality; agricultural exports; product innovation.;


Louis-Georges Soler, and Alban Thomas, Is there a win-win scenario with both limited beef production and reduced beef consumption?, TSE Working Paper, n. 20-1067, January 2020.

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TSE Working Paper, n. 20-1067, January 2020