A Turkish vendor cooks roasted meat in Istanbul, Türkiye, on Dec. 29, 2021. (Xinhua File photo)
A family of four in Türkiye has reduced its annual consumption of red meat to 28 kg from 56 kg in 2017.
ANKARA, July 28 (Xinhua) -- Soaring inflation and declining purchasing power have forced Turkish households to cut their red meat consumption by nearly half in the past few years.
A family of four in Türkiye has reduced its annual consumption of red meat to 28 kg, from 56 kg in 2017, according to figures from Türkiye's Red Meat Industry and Producers Association (ETBIR).
The big drop in meat consumption came when the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in the country more than two years ago, Ahmet Yucesan, chairman of ETBIR, told Xinhua.
The first drop was due to restricted access to shops and restaurants, and then "the rising prices and declining purchasing power started to affect consumption," said Yucesan.
Photo taken on July 19, 2022 shows the production process of bread at a bread factory in Istanbul, Türkiye. (Xinhua/Shadati)
Demand for red meat has dropped by 35 percent in the first six months of 2022, while production costs surged by more than 150 percent, leading to a 110-percent rise in red meat prices, he added.
In Istanbul, the largest Turkish city of more than 16 million, about 45 percent of respondents said they could no longer afford red meat, according to a recent survey by the city's municipal authorities.
Türkiye's inflation soared to 78.6 percent in June, hitting a two-decade high, amid a global food and fuel crisis in the fallout of the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the exit of a supermarket chain in a residential neighborhood in the capital Ankara, a shopper told Xinhua that it is impossible not to be affected by the rising prices of basic goods, particularly meat.
Tourists are seen near the Galata Tower in Istanbul, Türkiye, on July 26, 2022. (Photo by Unal Cam/Xinhua)
"I can't give a precise figure on how much less we are buying now compared to previous years but it's a considerable drop," said Zeynep Taskin, a teacher in a private school.
The government's move to raise the minimum monthly wage to 5,500 liras (307 U.S. dollars) over the past six months has provided some relief for about 10 million low-paid workers in the country, but still fails to keep pace with the annual inflation galloping toward three-digit percentage.
Taskin, a mother of two who earns just above the minimum wage, has been on the lookout for meat with special discounts offered by different markets.
Various olives are sold at Spice Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey, on July 6, 2022. (Xinhua/Shadati)
"We are thinking twice before buying meat," she noted.
Yucesan expects a continuous increase in meat prices in the coming months as producers are inclined to adjust their prices in September and October, calling for more government incentives to cattle and sheep farmers. ■