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The Economic Pressures Awaiting Producers

by 5m Editor
26 November 2007, at 4:47pm

UK - The poultry producers of the near future will face great economic turmoil, not due to the recent drama of Avian Influenza, but the threat of rising feed cost. This is the concern of Ted Wright, Chairman of the British Poultry Council, expressed in his recent letter to the Times.

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"One of the largest producers of broiler chickens is having to get rid of over 500,000 young birds in the next ten days because no one can afford to rear them."

Ted Wright, Chairman of the British Poultry Council.

In the letter he wrote, "While the outbreak of Avian Influenza in Suffolk has been making all the headlines, a potentially much greater threat to the future of the British poultry industry has quietly been unfolding.

"We are referring to the recent dramatic increase in feed prices, and the impact which that has had on the viability of all types of poultry production, but of chickens in particular.

"Feed and day-old chick costs account for 82 per cent of the cost of growing a meat chicken, so the recent 30 per cent hike in feed prices has increased production costs on farm by 25 per cent overall. Chicken prices to the producer need to rise by at least another 8p/kg to cover that increase."

He went on to say that the choice facing the retailers amounts to allowing a modest price rise now, or doing nothing and letting a real shortage develop as producers give up in the face of overwhelming losses.

"Time is short", he said. "One of the largest producers of broiler chickens is having to get rid of over 500,000 young birds in the next ten days because no one can afford to rear them. That serves as a stark warning of what will happen if retailers ignore the economic realities of chicken production."

5m Editor