By Aimee Mahony, NFU chief poultry advisor
I had the pleasure of chairing the poultry session at the recent NFU conference and I have to say how good it was to see people again in person. Whilst the poultry sector continues to face a number of challenges, the discussions and networking opportunities provided at the conference enabled the sharing of best practice and knowledge exchange amongst attendees. A resounding message that I hope attendees took from the poultry session in particular is that, despite the challenges, we are proud of what we do.
Data and consumer insight information maintains that customer demand for poultry meat and eggs continues to persist. Poultry is the most consumed meat in the UK, accounting for 49% of sales which is well ahead of beef at 23%. Key drivers for shoppers choosing poultry products are quality, animal welfare and traceability. These are key areas that we must continue to focus on and provide the relevant information to consumers so that they can maintain trust in British poultry meat and eggs.
Consumers are always looking for value for money and as well as being versatile and nutritious. Poultry products are affordable and these attributes are the key reasons as to why poultry meat and eggs are so popular. With global demand for meat protein set to double in the next 30 years, the poultry sector holds the key to feeding not only the nation but the world.
It would be remiss of me not to acknowledge the wider economy and the current operating costs which I know for many producers are worsening by the day. It is important that collectively the industry acknowledges these deteriorating market conditions and the entire supply chain works to seek solutions that are suitable for all.
The deadline for nominations to the NFU’s national poultry board has now passed and I look forward to announcing the new board shortly. To my earlier point, it is a vital time for all those involved in policy making and the board will be setting their priorities to help make a difference and shape the future for poultry meat and egg producers across the country.