European poultry exports meet in Brussels

07-10-2010 | | |
European poultry exports meet in Brussels

Industry experts from across the EU met in Brussels this week to provide poultry production estimates to the European Commission for this year and next, the NFU reports.

The meeting comes at a critical time for the industry and provided an insight into how the EU states are preparing as the EU Welfare of Laying Hens Directive approaches. Wider aspects of the poultry industry were touched upon, but most of the time was devoted to contentions in the egg sector.

Large amounts of processed North American egg exports have caused a price plunge across Europe. US exports to the EU were up 120% year-on-year and Mexican 123%.

On production, representatives of three of the largest producing nations, accounting for 39% of EU production, stated that they will not be able to meet the January 1 2012 welfare deadline.

The French expert said that between 20% and 25% of production – upwards of eight million laying birds – will be non-compliant after the date. The Spanish said that it would take four years to be compliant and the Italian expert gave no figure but said producers would miss the date, Portugal also voiced concerns over compliance.

Southern European countries are having problems complying mainly due to climate issues.

However, French growers have no such issues. The absence of representation from the Benelux countries and Germany’s early adoption of requirements demonstrates that northern European producers, bar France, are having no such compliance issues.

The UK we will almost certainly meet the deadline as producers have invested heavily in new technology and moved away from indoor systems.

Elsewhere, all turkey producing nations reported that they expected to see falls in production. Overall, UK poultry meat production has expanded by 6% during 2010 and production is expected to decline marginally in 2011 as imports become more competitive.

Source: NFU

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