Chicken in Sainsbury's© Rex Shutterstock

Chicken remains the meat least affected by inflation, analysis by the British Poultry Council (BPC) has revealed.

It has updated its record of poultry prices when compared with other meat categories based on the Consumer Prices Index (CPI).

The CPI tracks monthly changes to the price of a range of goods and services in the UK.

See also: Poultry ups its contribution to the UK’s economy

The BPC said poultry has increased by 44.3% since the first record was taken in 1987.

By contrast, beef has risen in price some 118%, pork by 136% and fish by 155%.

But the index also highlights the loss in value to poultry as supermarkets have entered fierce price wars.

The latest price survey puts poultry at 135.4 (against an index of 100 set in 1987).

Its recent peak was some 15 points higher in March 2014.

The index has not been around 135 since December 2010, when it began a gradual ascent.

Andrew Large, chief executive at the BPC, said price pressure was a combination of retailers’ competition and the general economic climate.

‘Efficient and unsubsidised’

But the poultry industry, because it was so integrated, could draw efficiency that other sectors of farming could not.

“I would argue that, because we are unsubsidised, there is a customer sensitivity that others don’t have.”

He added the industry tended to have long-serving, close relationships with retailers, which helped mitigate volatility.

Finally, Mr Large said a focus on research and development had driven efficiency through the supply chain, keeping the cost of chicken low.

“The small increase of poultry prices is explained by regular improvement in industry efficiencies over the past 27 years that are passed on to consumers.”

“Poultrymeat remains the best-value meat for families in the UK and makes a strong contribution to the country’s GDP.

“We are proud that poultry makes up almost half the meat eaten in the UK and look forward to continuing to produce high-quality, nutritious and affordable food.”