By Aimee Mahony, NFU Chief Poultry Adviser
Whilst trying to operate in difficult market conditions, it is evident that poultry producers are still facing mounting pressures from various angles. Whether it be navigating the increasing standards and specifications that they are being asked to meet or the rising scrutiny from lobbying groups.
One such area of increased criticism is related to water quality and the NFU is working hard to ensure that poultry producers are fairly represented in what can be at times a heated debate. It is critical that we find the right solutions and that producers are supported to work towards a common goal of improving water quality. However, it is also vital that decisions are based on sound science and evidence, and we do not allow purely emotive arguments to take control.
One thing I’m always assured by is the professionalism of those working in the poultry industry, always striving to achieve the most desired outcome and usually with little fuss. One thing that I consider could aid the achievements of the sector in the future is using this collaborative and solutions focussed mindset and expanding it outside of our immediate industry. Working together is key and communicating what we are doing is pivotal to this.
We should never assume that people outside of the industry have a thorough understanding of how poultry meat and eggs are produced, and this is something the NFU poultry board is looking at in terms of engaging with members of the public on various platforms to proudly share the great story of the poultry sector.
Of course, there are areas where individuals will have differing views. From the 1 September the NFU is rolling out a suite of resources to help rebut some of the false claims made and help educate people about poultry production. I hope you will be able to proactively use these resources to spread all the great messages about British poultry meat and eggs.
As I write this latest column, we are preparing for the final visit for the members on the Poultry Industry Programme. The group will look at the application of various renewable energy sources on farm and with a nod to the future they will be hearing from an insect protein company about opportunities for further integration of insects in poultry production. To round off the programme the PIP members will be hosted at Kelly Turkeys looking at all things turkey related with a focus on the importance as a business of always having an eye on the end consumer.
We will be recruiting for the next PIP in the early part of 2024 so keep your eyes peeled on NFU Online or @NFU_Poultry on Twitter if you or someone you know is looking for an opportunity to become a future ambassador for the poultry industry.