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Irish Poultry and Egg Sales Go Up

by 5m Editor
11 November 2008, at 10:12am

IRELAND - The downturn in the economy is proving to be the proverbial ill wind for poultry and egg producers.

The Irish Independent reports that egg sales in Ireland have increased by 22pc, reaching a value of €74.6m for the year to July 2008, delegates at Bord Bia's poultry and egg conference in Monaghan heard on Tuesday.

Bord Bia chief executive Aidan Cotter told the conference that poultry sales for the same period increased by 5pc, reaching a value of €227m.

"This is an industry with much going for it in the long-term as well as in the short-term with the credit crunch," Mr Cotter said.

"In the UK and in Ireland, all the other proteins are under pressure and values of beef and pork have fallen in the same period."

The director of Noble Foods Ltd in the UK, Andrew Joret, told the conference that in a recession, eggs are the cheapest form of protein.

Other trends outlined by the Bord Bia chief included changes in the way people shopped for food in times of recession.

He said that four out of every 10 shoppers had switched to cheaper brands and 39pc say they are visiting discount stores such as Aldi and Lidl more often than they did 12 months ago.

"Poultry meat consumption accounts for 29pc of total meat consumed in Ireland. However, imports continue to exert downward pressure on the indigenous Irish poultry industry," said Mr Cotter.

In the lead-up to Christmas, Bord Bia is to step up its quality-assurance campaign to encourage shoppers to buy Irish produce.

"We estimate that 98pc of all chicken and 85pc of all poultry produced in Ireland fall within the scheme and we will continually encourage consumers to look for the Bord Bia quality mark when shopping. Over the coming weeks, we will be promoting the vast range of quality mark produce to increase awareness and purchase frequency during the Christmas season," he said.

More than 6,000 people are employed in poultry processing and egg packing in Ireland and 850 farms are involved in production in the sector. Its combined contribution to the economy is estimated at €105m for 2007.

5m Editor