By Matt Donald, pig & poultry producer, north Yorkshire
I write this upon returning from the Egg and Poultry Industry Conference. What a fantastic event it was and great to not only hear some fantastic papers, but also take advantage of the networking opportunities through the whole event. The focus was poultry’s place in a sustainable supply chain, the whole event was positive and led to me leaving with optimism. It was also great to see so many young people attending the event.
The fact that poultry meat and eggs are so nutritious, versatile and affordable puts our industry in a great place to deliver a sustainable product to our consumers. We should be proud of the journey we have come on so far with increasing welfare, lowering antibiotic usage and cutting our emissions. Although as an industry we may not always feel rewarded, we must keep voicing our opinions about the value of our products.
Profit in farming needs to be seen as a public good, because food security and environmental protection relies on money across agriculture. It is welcome that poultry is included in the new animal health and pathway grant scheme, however as an industry who has always stood on our own two feet, it is vital that the profit is passed down the supply chain for us to remain sustainable. It is clear government handouts do not provide the certainty that the poultry meat sector needs right now.
On farm, we are currently turning a breeder site around and although cases of AI may be lower, the threat is still high, so we are taking some time to net and bird-proof a problem area we have found where birds are trying to nest. Although they have no access into the buildings, any mess around the site which can be walked in must be avoided. Clamping down on disease is just another way of keeping our business sustainable.