A question I hear posed often, is whether there is a future for the poultry industry in Europe. There is an easy answer: of course there is!
How this future will look like cannot be answered at this moment, nor can it be answered in the space given here.
To start with, we have to separate the perspectives of the egg and the meat market. Both will follow a different path, but for both it is important to remember that consumers prefer fresh products of high quality.
Transport costs and trends in packaging may have a major impact on what can and will be shipped over long distances.
But most important is: what political decisions will be made by governments in regard to tax, levies and production-cost-sensitive measures relating to animal welfare, environment and food safety?
While these latter issues may have most impact at a local level, they may also have a dramatic effect as soon they are implemented by importing and exporting countries.
The current AI problems show that a market can easily be disturbed as soon a major disease like AI is in the mix. Borders are closed and products have to come from different providers.
This raises the question of whether we will have sufficient production regions in the world to swap around as soon there is any major market disruption.
We have to consider AI, but also cannot forget about the possibility of other diseases, the discovery of unwanted contaminants or production practises, or a sudden change in value of the currency in producing countries.
Can an economic region afford to become largely dependent on one or two major suppliers?
In modern business practise, no company want to be in such a situation, because one mishap could put you on the line. It is for that reason that I strongly believe that there will be a future for the European poultry industry, but that future may look different to the situation today.