Comment: As 29 March creeps closer, investing in the next generation becomes ever more important

By Gary Ford, chief poultry advisor, NFU

The poultry meat sector has found itself facing a challenging marketplace at the start of this year – one of these concerns is the increasing imports of Brazilian chicken into the UK and European wholesale market.

The egg sector is also seeing margins come under significant pressure partly as a result of supply and partly due to pricing around egg size.

These growing concerns have been raised to me by members on several occasions. For me, the situation with Brazil clearly highlights why it is so important that we maintain our high standards of British poultry production in the future.

It is vital farmers are not undermined by food imports produced to standards that would be illegal for British farmers to produce to.

As I write this column, the USA have just set out their negotiating objectives for a UK/USA trade deal and it will shock no one to hear that comprehensive access to our agricultural market is one of their prime targets. The NFU have set out a firm response that British farming must not be sacrificed in any future trade deal.

As we creep ever closer to the Brexit deadline of March 29, it is clear there has not have been the sort of progress we would like to see towards a deal between the UK and EU. However, the NFU has not slowed down representing our poultry members.

Whether it is trade, access to labour or upholding our high standards, the NFU has been making the case to government about why our industry is so important to the country.

While we navigate Brexit, we must not forget how crucial the next generation of farmers will be and we are continuing our industry’s history of bringing talent through.

Our successful Poultry Industry Programme is now entering its fourth cycle and we’re looking for young professionals to take part; to develop future leaders and give participants a unique insight into the industry.

If you think you fit the bill, or know someone who does, visit the poultry pages of to find out more information or email to apply.


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