Even though turkey consumption in France has increased by 5% during the first semester (179,000 t of 917,000 t of poultry meat), production remains very fragile.
Production is up by 2.2% but imports have risen 3%. “It is a growth, indeed, but only from a very small volume” offered Gilles Le Pottier, CIDEF general secretary (interprofessional committee of turkey) during Space, livestock exhibition in Rennes (France).
Production reached 208,000 t and imports are only at 22,000 t during the first half of this year. But, historically a big turkey exporter, France is at the moment experiencing a reverse situation. And producers don’t want this change to grow.
“First, the trend towards heaviness of turkeys is strong with an increase of 7% in weight. We adapt feed to this new pattern” said le Pottier. “And we are, collectively, thinking about a new farming model. Size of farm, age of farm houses, young farmers installations, test of efficient building design… are all key points to providing competitive production in front of our main competitors who are also European: Germany and Poland”.
The rising price of raw materials, even if it is a similar situation everywhere is of course also a big concern. “But we see that turkey has great opportunities : it is still one of the cheapest animal proteins, it is accepted by every religion, and collective catering is found of it” said le Pottier. So, even if imports rise a little bit, the turkey sector is remaining optimistic.