Poultry industry faces an “amazing challenge” says Tyson Foods CEO

The challenges facing the global poultry industry are to reduce tariffs and non-tariff barriers to world trade, to make sure consumers trust the sector’s products and to progress sustainability through the setting of water reduction and other environmental goals.

This was the industry rallying call issued by Tyson Foods’ CEO, Donnie Smith, when he addressed a recent Cobb distributors meeting in Zimbabwe.

Speaking to 70 delegates from across Europe, Africa and the Middle East (EMEA), Mr Smith highlighted the role of chicken in helping to make good food affordable to the different types of consumers around the world.

Commenting that many people across the world go to bed hungry every night, he said it was “difficult to imagine” that in some countries people are spending 40-45% of their annual income on food.

“In a world where the population is growing at an unimaginable rate, we have an amazing challenge in front of us,” he said. “The fact is; making great food isn’t cheap but it must be affordable to every consumer because every consumer is different. For some, food is about survival. For others it’s about choice and experience.

”We don’t make foods for just one kind of consumer, we make food for everyone, no matter their religion, culture or economic background.”

He also claimed that global consumers increasingly view chicken as their key source of food.

“It’s more affordable and more culturally accepted around the globe,” he said. “Chicken is now the assumed ‘healthier’ protein option and, for the first time in history, globally, chicken consumption is projected to overtake pork consumption as early as 2020.”

Headline image shows Donnie Smith (left) presenting a thank you gift to event organiser, David Irvine, Cobb distributor in Zimbabwe for more than 50 years.

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