Whilst the outbreak of avian flu in Suffolk has been making all the headlines, a much greater threat to the future of the British poultry industry has been unfolding.
British Poultry Council chairman Ted Wright told a packed room of poultry farmers, processors and politicians attending an awards ceremony in the House of Commons that: “Avian flu has masked the real poultry story in 2007. This is the dramatic increase in feed prices, and the impact it has had on the viability of all types of poultry production.”
He also suggested that retailers had a choice to either allow a modest price rise now, or do nothing and risk losing Britain’s ability to supply fresh quality poultry meat in the foreseeable future.
According to the BPC the bad global cereal harvest experienced this year may not be the last, as climate change slowly alters all flows of feed and foodstuffs.
Mr Wright finished by saying that the British poultry sector deserves greater recognition for the nutritional health and environmental benefits it brings to society. But that without sustained increase in the prices paid to poultry producers those benefits are in serious jeopardy.