Falling feed and fuel costs, and buoyant consumer demand have combined to boost confidence among poultrymeat suppliers.

Results from the British Poultry Council’s latest survey show that, compared with six months ago, about half of member companies are feeling “more confident” regarding the future of the industry, while half are feeling “about the same”. No one is feeling less confident.

“Over half of all respondents report that feed costs had a positive impact on their business,” said a spokesman. “Fuel costs have also had a more positive impact. This is in stark contrast to last winter, and before the 2014 Budget, when 37.5% reported a slight negative impact.”

The survey also reveals that poultry companies are finding it easier to fund investment, which is said to be more forthcoming, though planning and environmental regulations are having a significant negative impact on the creation and expansion of poultry farms.

And while consumer demand is high, there is concern about exchange rate volatility.

In terms of output, over 60% of BPC members said they had increased production over the past six months, compared with just 40% at the time of the last survey.

There also appears to have been an increase in employment levels, even though at the time of the last survey, relatively few businesses said they planned to take on more people.

“All respondents with apprenticeship schemes are on track to recruit the number of apprentices needed, while 37% of the companies surveyed said their training budget had increased over the past six months,” added the spokesman.

See more: How confident were poultry firms a year ago?