Global consumption of beef is forecast to rise by 20% by 2011, with Brazil tipped to be the main beneficiary.

The forecast growth in consumption came from the US Food and Agriculture Policy Research Institute. Much of the growth is expected to come in Southeast Asia, China, Mexico and South America.

On the supply side, Meat and Livestock Australia general manager economic planning Dr Peter Barnard said South Americans were likely to be the main suppliers of beef in the world in a decade’s time, with Brazilian farmers leading the way.

Barnard said that beef producers in his native Australia should protect their market by specialising in premium branded products to differentiate their product offering, reported Reuters.

“There is a safety net following the high quality route, because I think it is going to be very hard competing with the Brazilians in the manufacturing end of the business,” Barnard said.