Andrew Joret, chairman of the British Egg Industry Council, has called for a shift in the relationship between supermarkets and their buyers, to manage increasing raw material cost volatility.
Mr Joret was addressing this year’s Egg and Poultry Industry Conference at the Forest of Arden Hotel, Birmingham, giving his take on how the meat and egg sectors will develop over the next 25 years.
He said high costs could be managed as the market would eventually increase prices to match, but volatility was something “we can’t deal with very successfully” – pointing to the two big spikes in feed cost in the past five years.
“You can have a fantastic business, but if you’ve got your buying decision wrong, you’re bust. And that’s crazy,” he added. “I think what we need here is pricing revolution, or evolution. I think we’ve got to rethink the way we sell.
“You can have a fantastic business, but if you’ve got your buying decision wrong, you’re bust. And that’s crazy.”
Andrew Joret, chairman of the British Egg Industry Council
“Don’t forget, our retail customers need suppliers, and I think they recognise that too.”
But Mr Joret predicted a “very successful future”, for egg and chicken, comparing the progress genetics, feed formulation and nutrition for poultry has undergone in the past 25 years, and looking at predictions for the next 25 years.
“For eggs, the forecast is we’ll be up to 550 eggs at 100 weeks with a feed conversion ratio (FCR) approaching 1.1:1,” he said. “What about broilers? The forecast is 19 days at 2.2kgs, another 10 days off kill age, and a FCR at sub 1:1. It’s absolutely phenomenal.”
The introduction of phytase and enzymes in feed had also made a big difference to performance, as had new technology in poultry buildings, he added.