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Morocco Explores Benefits of Poultry Checkoff

by 5m Editor
3 July 2009, at 9:53am

MOROCCO - The President of the Colombian Poultry Association discussed the benefits of a checkoff scheme during a meeting with the Moroccan Poultry Association during a trip organised by the US Grains Council (USGC).

USGC hosted Jorge Bedoya, president of the Colombian Poultry Association (FENAVI) in Morocco last week.

Mr Bedoya spent the week working with the Moroccan Poultry Association (FISA) on how to improve its operations and the management of the association. He made presentations to the Moroccan Ministry of Agriculture and to the FISA board of directors on how Colombia was successful in establishing a poultry checkoff fund.

"The Moroccan poultry industry has an excellent tool in FISA to improve the competitiveness of the industry and to defend its interests before the government," said Mr Bedoya, who previously worked for the coffee checkoff in Colombia.

"This is due in large part to the support of the US Grains Council and the long-term commitment the Council has made to the development of the poultry sector. However, now is a perfect opportunity for the poultry industry to step up and take command of its own future through the establishment of a check-off fund."

Mr Bedoya explained that the Colombian poultry industry has seen per capita poultry consumption double from 22 pounds per capita in 1994 to 50 pounds in 2008 since the checkoff's inception in 1994. FENAVI has a goal to further expand per capita consumption to 75 pounds per capita by 2018.

This dramatic growth is all driven by a consumer promotion programme initiated by FENAVI as a result of the checkoff fund, which generates approximately $5 million annually.

Colombia is the sixth largest buyer of US corn, importing 114 million bushels in 2008. Morocco imported 37 million bushels of US corn in 2008, making it the fourteenth largest buyer. Per capita poultry consumption in Morocco is currently 30 pounds. However, FISA would like to follow Colombia's example and establish a checkoff fund, which will give it the ability to dramatically affect consumer perception of poultry and drive future demand for poultry products in Morocco.

Kurt Shultz, USGC director in North Africa and the Mediterranean said the Council has been an active supporter of FISA since it was established in 1993.

"The establishment of a checkoff programme would put the responsibility for developing the Moroccan poultry sector directly in the hands of the Moroccan poultry industry," said Mr Shultz. "In addition, it would mean a dramatic increase in poultry production which would require additional US corn and sorghum, as the Moroccan poultry sector imports 100 per cent of its feed needs."