By Aimee Mahony, NFU Chief Poultry Adviser
Although we continue to transition through challenging times one thing is clear, demand for poultry meat and eggs remains strong. Driven mainly by chicken, the overall retail purchases of fresh poultry meat increased by 2.6% in the year up to 5 September 2021. Whilst retail demand for eggs is steady there has been an increase of 1% year-on-year, with free range and organic being the key drivers for growth. There has also been a 55.2% increase in barn egg sales but from a very small base. On the other hand, colony cage egg sales have fallen and we’ve seen some large flocks of colony cage birds depleted during the past 12 months and not restocked.
On the 8 October NFU members supported World Egg Day by sharing positive messages about eggs across social media channels. Videos and images of hens, eggs, recipes, and nutritional facts flooded timelines across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and it was good to see those who are frequent users of these platforms as well as those less familiar with the world of social media taking their message to the public stage.
One of the priorities for the NFU’s national poultry board is to help raise the profile of British poultry products and it was great to see thousands of people getting behind #WorldEggDay which was celebrating it’s 25th anniversary this year. We have a member toolkit for poultry meat and egg producers to use which includes graphics which can be easily shared to promote key stats associated with the poultry sector. It will also soon be our annual #BuyMyTurkey day. Now in its fourth year the social media campaign will take place on the 3 December 2021 and further information can be found in the weeks ahead on the NFU website.
Finally, it was great to see so many people last month at the National Egg and Poultry Awards. Congratulations to all the finalists, regardless of whether you won or not you are all deserving of the recognition for your hard work which continues to help the sector deliver day in, day out to feed the nation.