NFU says meat sales on the up

19 May 2000

NFU says meat sales on the up

POULTRYMEAT consumption is set to climb by a massive 21% in the next 10 years, according to NFU figures at the Pig and Poultry Fair.

It predicts growth in value added products that emphasise healthy eating and convenience.

But this is not good news for British producers, as the NFU suggest their share of this increase will decrease by about 11% in the same period.

NFU president, Ben Gill, said that was caused by a combination of a high regulative burden and cheap foreign imports.

Last year imports used up 21% of the British market, although undisclosed supplies lost in processed chicken products could push this figure as high as 40%.

New directives from Brussels may also mean less UK production. This could result in fewer cage eggs, said NFU economist Alex Solomon.

To follow the EU Laying Hens Directive and maintain hen numbers, UK producers running costs will increase by 10-25% to fund a 40% increase in cage space.

If they cannot get planning permission or decide to keep fewer hens, production would fall, said Mr Solomon. Other non-EU competitors will not have to comply with this rule.

Despite good news ahead with increasing chicken consumption, the chairman of NFU poultry committee, Charles Bourns, said: "We need to get an extra 1p/lb back to producers to keep them in business." &#42

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