The British Poultry Council has called on prospective MEPs to keep the poultry industry in mind ahead of the European parliament elections in May.

In an open letter, chief executive Andrew Large points to the size of the UK poultry industry – second only to France’s in the EU. He adds that, across Europe, the poultrymeat sector employs an estimated 330,000 people and is worth £32bn to the economy.

A 12-point manifesto from the BPC has also been sent to candidates, covering four areas of food production: food quality, sustainable production, animal health and welfare, as well as the EU and the global marketplace.

See also: Market balance crucial to poultry profits

“The forthcoming EU elections will be some of the most important ever for the British poultry industry,” said Mr Large.

“Legislation made in Europe dominates the regulatory environment for both food and farming in Britain and poultry is no exception.”

He also points to a projection that the UK’s population will increase by 10 million over the next 16 years, and this will put pressure on food security.

“We seek a Britain where affordable food is produced by a sustainable food and farming sector.”