The news from the Top 100 meat and poultry processors and the news about the meat industry have had two very different tones this year. The headlines in newspapers and Web sites, of course, have been dominated by arguments for and against the meat industry — largely against. There was the report from the World Health Organization that named processed meat as a carcinogen, as well as the more recent theories that global warming could be stopped if the world just went vegan. While those reports could be refuted with facts (the WHO, in fact, did backtrack from its original inflammatory statements), the corresponding attempts at balance did not undo the potential damage of the original stories.
Did those alarming news stories have an adverse effect on the meat industry, though? Not according to this year’s Top 100 Processors Report. The reports from processors were largely positive, as a majority of respondents said that this past year was either “good” or their “best year ever.” Almost every company added that this year would be better or as good as last year. Given the mixed results and tentative forecasts given by processors in previous years for this report, the industry ought to feel a sense of accomplishment heading into the second half of 2016.