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NFU: Poultry price problem 'not rocket science'

The NFU is calling for a fair price for poultry famers at a time when soaring feed prices and increased production costs have left some in the sector operating at a loss.

Inflation in feed prices
Despite recent work to strengthen relationships between British poultry producers and retailers, the NFU believes inflation in feed prices needs to be reflected in the price paid to the farmer.

Poultry board chairman Charles Bourns said: “Retailers look to farmers to invest in ever-improving, often dedicated supply chains, but this deal comes with some responsibility for them to ensure their suppliers are making a fair margin.

“British farmers are a trusted supplier of poultry meat and eggs which meet the high standards that customers expect. However more and more producers are required to meet bespoke retail standards.

Producers making a loss
“These could include things like additional windows, perches in sheds, woodland for birds to range or independent food health and safety audits. With rising costs and now soaring feed prices, this means some producers are making a loss.

“The effect of feed price inflation is clear for all to see. Latest NFU figures suggest that feed is costing farmers an extra 5p per dozen eggs, and over 12p per chicken. And these are just direct costs; there is also the effect of these costs long-term on the breeding flocks.

"Farmers remain committed to the retail partnership, as ultimately this is their route to a long-term relationship with the consumer but this is a crunch time for them. This isn’t rocket science – farmers just need a fair price that covers their cost of production.”

Bourns wrote to all major retailers at the beginning of November to highlight the effect of feed inflation on farmers’ margins. Approximately 60-70% of poultry production costs is feed, with around 60% of each ration made from wheat, a commodity which has risen by £50 per tonne in recent months.

Editor WorldPoultry

One comment

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    Mick Holdaway

    And this is apparently just the tip of the iceberg. Another feed price is on its way. The feed merchants are able to pass this on to the farmer. Pullet prices have risen for next year and the breeder is able to pass this on to the farmer. While all this is happening the dealers lower the price they pay the farmer and again the farmer foots the bill. You all know this though but how come the egg prices in my local Tesco have not changed, they are not lower. This has surely to be the only industry in the world that does not allow farmers to raise their price in accordance with market forces. I read lots of articles about someone is talking about this and that but no results.

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