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Germany - strong beef production

In 2017 in Germany, 12 million cows were kept in 143,600 businesses. This makes Germany the second biggest producer in Europe. In 2017, a total of 1.1 million tonnes of beef were produced, of which 378,000 tonnes were exported to countries all around the world.

Germany is home to over forty breeds of cattle. The diverse cattle breeds reflect the regional climatic and food differences between the Bavarian Alps in the South to the North and Baltic Seas. Germany has cow breeds that are perfect for producing meat or milk, or both. Fleckvieh and Braunvieh are the main breeds in the south of Germany, whilst in the north, German Holsteins predominate.

The cattle stock in Germany—as in farming generally—is becoming better suited to larger businesses. Over sixty per cent of cows are now kept in stocks of cattle with more than 100 animals.

Beef production in Germany has a professional set-up. Breeding, insemination in agricultural businesses, animal keeping, slaughtering, processing, and performance and quality checks are all subject to very high standards. Some 64,500 agricultural businesses with a total of 3.5 million cows are subject to meat and milk performance tests. The meat performance test records data on daily weight gain, slaughter weight, cutting and proportion of meat. The results are immediately taken into consideration for breeding.