Meat industry Economists advocate state intervention

by Editor
Friday, July 24, 2020
The scientists advocate stronger state controls to protect workers.
Photo: si
The scientists advocate stronger state controls to protect workers.

Politicians want to regulate the work of the meat industry more closely. It is receiving support for this from the scientific community.
Economists at German universities consider state intervention in the meat market and increased regulation of animal welfare to be necessary. This is the result of a survey of 123 professors presented last week by the ifo Institute and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. According to the survey, 85% of the respondents are in favour of regulations on animal welfare. 72% are in favour of state intervention for the protection of workers. Regulations on climate and environmental protection, on the other hand, are only approved by 52%. Only a minority of 6% of the economists are against any measures.

Little sympathy for banning sales contracts

With regard to labour market policy measures for the meat industry, 69% favour increased state controls. More than half of the economists surveyed also consider the regulation of subcontractors to be sensible; comparable approval ratings achieve higher minimum standards for the accommodation of employees and for occupational health and safety as well as better medical care for employees. The respondents largely reject a higher minimum wage in the meat industry. Only 12% support this. The economists also consider a ban on factory representation to be comparatively unproductive, with only around a quarter of those surveyed seeing it as a sensible measure. Only 3% are against any labour market policy measures in the meat industry percent of the participants.

The field of participants is much more divided when it comes to the question of a uniform regulation of working conditions in the meat industry at European level. 38% of those questioned reject a uniform regulation and, according to the ifo Institute, justify this by the different production conditions and preferences in the member states, distortions of competition and a lack of competence at European level. At the same time, 36% of the participants are in favour of standardisation. They expect that undercutting competition with negative consequences for animal welfare, employees and the environment could be prevented. With regard to climate protection, 56% of the economists are in favour of integrating the meat industry into the European CO2 certificate trade. Half of those questioned are in favour of a CO2 tax on meat products; somewhat less support is expressed for rules and bans on livestock farming.