The value of UK poultry meat fell by £25 million in 2015 according to the first estimate of Total Income from Farming (Tiff) released by Defra.
This took the 2015 value of poultry meat down to £2,226 million, a fall which Defra noted was the second successive year of decline, coming on the back of “steady growth” in the previous ten years.
The Tiff figures also showed that poultry meat production in 2015 rose by 2% while prices fell by 3%.
The 2015 poultry meat value of £2,226m compares with £2,255m in 2014, £2,372m in 2013 and £2163m in 2012.
Overall, the total value of output of UK livestock in 2015 was 9.3% lower than in 2014, at £13,006 million.
Taking the depressed livestock results alongside lower earnings from crops, vegetables, plants and flowers, the new Tiff figures show a total Income decline of 29% between 2014 and 2015, effectively reducing farmers’ returns by £1,526m.
“These figures are alarming to say the least,” commented NFU chief economist, Gail Soutar. “They remind us that farmers up and down the country and across the majority of sectors are dealing with the impact of devastating cuts in the value of their products.
“Lots of farm businesses find themselves in a loss-making situation and if prices and profitability don’t change, it is not just those farms that are at jeopardy, but our food processing sector, our rural communities and the environment.”
The NFU also said the new Tiff numbers “must serve as a wakeup call to others in the supply chain and government”.