Meat processing makes up one of the largest segments of value-added food and beverage manufacturing.
Food processors transform raw agricultural materials into products for intermediate or final consumption by applying labor, machinery, energy and scientific knowledge. Meat processing includes livestock and poultry slaughter, processing and rendering. It is the largest single component of food manufacturing, with 24 percent of shipments in 2015. Beverage manufacturing (18 percent) and meat processing (17 percent) are the largest components of the value-added sector. For meat and poultry, this includes the manufacturing of deli meats, heat-and-eat meats and charcuterie. The meat processing industry employed the largest percentage of manufacturing workers in 2015 (31 percent).