Market Overview

Meat Processing

Focus on Flexibility and Efficiency

“2013 has been a challenging, yet exciting year in the global meat industry. In Latin America we have seen more sales of StreamLine deboning and trimming systems, and after launching DeboFlex at the IFFA exhibition in May, we sold the first line to a customer in Brazil. In Europe we have installed our new X-ray based trim handling and inspection systems, and most recently we have sold a major greenfield project to one of the largest Australian retailers.”

David Wilson, Managing Director of Marel's Meat Industry Center

The Single Most Consumed Protein

The experiences and findings of Marel in the red meat industry in 2013 are in line with general industry trends.

Typically we have seen an increase in red meat production in developing countries while developed countries have experienced relative stagnation and even decline. This is expected to carry through into 2014.

Red meat production growth will come mostly from the pork sector, which benefits from lower feed costs, shorter production cycles, higher feed-to-meat conversion rates compared to beef, as well as a growing global consumer demand for pork meat.

Income growth and urbanization in developing countries will continue to drive the increase of consumption. Pork is currently the single most consumed protein, globally.

Traceability, Food Safety
and Affordability

Global consumer trends ultimately influence how red meat is processed. These include, but are not limited to, food safety, price, and convenience. However, these trends also vary somewhat between developed and developing countries. Both food safety and traceability continue to become ever more important features in quality food production.

Marel, in close partnership with its customers, is working to develop solutions to meet these new requirements, particularly in the areas of traceability, food safety, and affordable health products through solutions such as: controlled portion sizes, value-added solutions, bone detection and fat analysis. Throughout these processes the focus is on flexibility and efficiency.

Source: USDA

Compounded annual growth rate

Source: USDA

Customer story

Compaxo in Holland

DeboFlex is Marel's new flexible pork fore-end deboning solution. This groundbreaking shackle-based logistical solution makes deboning and cutting pork fore-ends so much easier and more efficient, bringing production management to a new level. With DeboFlex, the processing flow is made simple and orderly, which results in higher capacity, increased yield, and improved logistics and ergonomics.


The first company to install the new DeboFlex system was Compaxo Meat Ltd in Zevenaar, Holland. Marel formed a close partnership with Compaxo to improve and further develop DeboFlex to the revolutionary system it is today.

At the Compaxo pig slaughterhouse, craftsmanship goes hand in hand with the latest technologies and sciences – and the new DeboFlex fits well within that philosophy.

Menno van der Post, Production Manager at Compaxo in Zevenaar, immediately adapted to the new way of working. “We are very happy with the DeboFlex. The flexibility and easy logistics of the system are simply impressive,” he says.  The DeboFlex offers many benefits for Compaxo, as van der Post explains: “We constantly see new benefits. Efficiency in the production hall has risen, the transport of products has become simpler, the cutting process has become easier, and the bacterial counts have dropped. And all this within just a couple of months after installation.”

Increasing Production in Latin America

Some of our highlights in 2013 were seen in Latin America where red meat production is increasing, especially in Mexico and Brazil, as a result of rising export demand, and competitive prices.

We have experienced a great deal of interest in systems and equipment from the Latin American beef and pork industries – especially in our StreamLine deboning and trimming systems.

In fact, we sold the largest system ever to a Mexican customer. We are also extremely happy about the first sale of the new DeboFlex system for deboning pork fore-ends to a Brazilian customer.

Once up and running, this system will be processing 800 fore-ends per hour.

DeboFlex is a groundbreaking logistical solution that  makes deboning and cutting pork fore-ends so much easier and more efficient, bringing production management to a new level. With DeboFlex the processing flow is made simple and orderly, which results in higher capacity, increased yield, and improved logistics and ergonomics.


Static Production
in Developed Countries

In the U.S., meat production declined in 2013 due to declining herd numbers, which was a consequence of the droughts in recent years, high feed costs and low product prices.

A similar picture has been seen in Europe and Oceania. There we saw a slight rise in production during the year because of the growth in exports, small herd expansion and lower feed costs.

The European meat industry is beginning to invest again – and we see that our Trim Handling Systems are showing great results in the companies where they have been installed.

Partnership With One of the Largest Retail Supermarkets in Australia

The most impressive project in 2013 took place in Australia, where Marel, in partnership with one of the largest retail supermarkets, designed the equipment set-up for a new greenfield case-ready plant, with processes covering the entire chain from intake to dispatch.

This project demonstrates Marel's huge capability for combining equipment into a full plant layout and gluing it all together with its Innova software.

Our Meat Product Range