Poultry industry has challenges ahead

02-11-2006 | |

A group is to be set up to examine the issues facing the Irish poultry industry, which is at a particularly difficult juncture according to Food Minister Brendan Smith.

Minister Smith said the group of experts is being established to ensure that a viable sector in Ireland can continue in the long term.
A number of processing plants had closed, he said, and output has also fallen back.
The minister also said the domestic product is being undercut by international competitors, with Ireland producing only 1% of EU output.
“We are facing a major challenge in terms of positioning of the industry for the future,” he said, adding that avian influenza also poses new uncertainties.
While egg production is also an exposed business, Mr Smith welcomed the safety measures in place and said a recent survey indicated there was no salmonella of public health significance in eggs in Ireland.
Mr Smith said that the medium term outlook for the poultry market in the EU is reasonably positive.
But, he said, in the light of recent developments there is now a need to take an overall look about what needs to be done for the future.
Ireland’s poultry industry has a farm gate value of €144 million, with exports of 95,642 tonnes valued at €257 million.
The egg sector has a farm gate value of €35million, with an annual output of 658 million eggs and has no significant exports.