Confidence in the future of the poultry industry is on the rise within the sector, according to new research.
A survey carried out by the British Poultry Council (BPC) revealed that two thirds of its members feel more confident about the future of the industry than they did six months ago. The horsemeat incident has also contributed to the rise in confidence, as British poultry producers saw increased demand for their products. As a result of this, BPC members said they had increased production in the last six months.
However, the recent rise in feed costs is causing concern amongst BPC members and, although some have argued prices have stabilised, 80% still believe feed costs have had a negative impact on business over the last six months.
Yet 70% of members have reported an increase in their employment levels over the same period and industry leaders have said there is a “continued investment” in skills and training. Around 70% of BPC’s members are with an apprentice scheme and are on track to recruit, according to their business plans. Meanwhile, 80% of members said the skills within their organisations had grown over the last six months, adding that this was led by increased opportunities.
Speaking on behalf of the industry, BPC chief executive Andrew Large said: “Against a challenging economic backdrop, it is encouraging that the British poultry industry is growing in confidence. Feed costs continue to affect profitability, but strong consumer demand offers hope for the future. The horsemeat scandal has led to several leading retailers prioritising British produce and has accelerated the trend of increasing numbers of consumers buying poultry as a high-quality, yet cost-effective way of feeding the family.”