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India to shift away from wet poultry markets

India's poultry industry currently sells 95% of its product through wet markets, fresh food markets where animals are sold live and then processed either onsite or in the consumer's home. These wet markets pose numerous sanitary risks and are inaccessible to long-distance consumers.

Moving to a processed poultry market would give India better control of food safety and quality, and would over time increase consumer confidence. It would also enhance the ability to transport processed poultry products to distant markets and ultimately expand poultry consumption — all of which would lead to a higher per capita poultry consumption.

Consumer education is a key to unlocking this potential. Indian consumers believe that by purchasing at a wet market they can select a fresh, healthy product. These consumers are reluctant to purchase processed products and favour wet markets that they believe allow them to select a superior product. While the traditional preference for freshness is understandable, however, processed products offer important marketable advantages, especially with regard to superior quality control, minimization of health risks, and product availability.

The US Grains Council organised a series of seminars to educate poultry integrators about how to run a successful marketing campaign to promote processed poultry products. At a recent seminar, Awi Tantra, director of PT Sierad Produce in Indonesia, was sponsored by the Council to share how PT Sierad Produce moved from a wet market to a processed market. Other USGC speakers shared ideas from countries such as Thailand and Sri Lanka, where government support made it possible for the industry to change to a processed market.

"India's poultry production is just as efficient as the United States, but they have yet to convince Indian consumers to purchase processed poultry meat," said Adel Yusupov, USGC regional director in Southeast Asia. "Even though India's government has yet to enforce food safety standards, the Council believes that though a series of seminars and discussion with other Southeast Asia poultry companies the Indian poultry industry will take it upon themselves to sell a good, safe product to the consumer."

Source: US Grains Council

World Poultry

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