Expert opinion

Searching for the best of both worlds

The latest forecasts of Rabobank on poultry production are bullish to say the least. In the mature market of Europe it sees a year on year growth of 1%, but in other parts of the world this number can go up to at least 4%.

Over the next 20 years the world needs 60% more poultry meat than now and demand for eggs and all kinds of other meat is following suit. It is safe to say that agricultural production needs to focus on every grain of efficiency it can to cater the world’s demand.

Photo: EPA/Narong Sangnak
Photo: EPA/Narong Sangnak

Being efficient, using as little resources as possible to create the most, is as sustainable as it gets. However, this is not the sustainability many consumers have in mind. They believe sustainability revolves around animal welfare, small farm operations with local to local production and low ammonia emissions. These two interpretations of sustainability are direct opposites and in their extremes will never work together. Luckily, there is a middle ground.

A license to produce and a profitable operation do top efficiency in parts of the world with high societal demand. The ever growing niche of slower growing broilers proves that. That said, there should be a continuous quest to search for the best of both worlds, because a too big of a loss of efficiency will inhibit some in the world to eat animal protein, either due to price or availability.

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