Poultry production in the European Union has risen by one quarter in the past 8 years in the face of growing consumer demand.
Latest figures from the European Commission’s Eurostat service show that the European Union produced 15.2m tonnes of poultry meat last year. This represents a cumulative rise of 3.2m tonnes or about one quarter since 2010.
Seven member states produced just under three-quarters of all EU production with Poland continuing to be the largest producer, manufacturing 16.8% of production in 2018. The UK produced the second highest level of poultry meat (12.9%), followed by France (11.4%), Spain (10.7%), Germany (10.4%), Italy (8.5%) and then a jump to Hungary (3.5%).
French poultry breeders this week also celebrated the lifting of a ban on their imports into China that had been in place since December 2015 following an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu.
Its Federation des Industries Avicoles welcomed the move, saying: “The Chinese market is a complementary market to the French and European market, since the Chinese consume different products, which we cannot otherwise value.”
While France has only exported small volumes of chicken meat to China in the past, the country was a major supplier of breeding stock for China’s white-feathered broiler chicken producers. They have faced huge challenges in finding replacement stock due to different avian influenza outbreaks across the globe. While there was a rise in production in most member states, Denmark, Lithuania and Latvia all saw small reductions.