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Don’t think short term over feed costs, urges BPC

by 5m Editor
6 December 2007, at 10:19am

UK - Poultry farmers, processors and politicians gathered in the House of Commons in London this week to review the year and to recognise distinguished service to the poultry sector.

The British Poultry Council Chairman Ted Wright addressed a packed room, including Jonathan Shaw MP, Junior Minister at The Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

He argued that whilst 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 had been unfolding.

Mr Wright said: "Avian influenza has masked the real poultry story in 2007, which is the dramatic increase in feed prices, and the impact which that has had on the viability of all types of poultry production.

"The British poultry meat sector is highly integrated, with a very short supply chain, and real cost efficiencies“, said Mr. Wright, “but these efficiencies can only soak up so much and the choice facing retailers amounts to allowing a modest price rise now, or doing nothing and losing Britain’s capacity to supply fresh quality poultry meat in the foreseeable future."

The bad global cereal harvest experienced this year may not be the last, as climate change slowly alters all flows of feed and foodstuffs. Countries which are major feed suppliers into the global market are most likely to be hit hardest by climate change. No part of the supply chain can afford to think short term when issues of feed availability and price may be with us for years to come.

Mr. Wright concluded: "The British poultry sector deserves greater recognition for the nutritional health and environmental benefits it brings to society. But without an urgent and sustained increase in the prices paid to poultry producers to cover massive rises in the cost of feed, those benefits are in serious jeopardy."

The BPC award winners in 2007 were:

BPC Scholarship Award
Mrs. Gillian Hunter – University of Edinburgh

BPC Distinguished Service Awards
Mr. Kevin Ayres – Lloyd Maunders
Mr. Mick Odlin – Nobel Foods (posthumous)
Mr. Alan Payne – Cranberry Foods

BPC Distinguished Marketing Award
Mrs. Kim Burgess – British Turkey Marketing Committee

BPC Special Service Award
Mr. Russell Kyle – International Animal Health, DEFRA

5m Editor