The British chicken industry is not
financially sustainable according to a report launched by the British National
Farmers' Union (NFU).
The NFU warned that the British chicken industry, worth Â£3 billion (€4.4b or
US$5.6b) at retail and the strongest in Europe, will not survive in the current
The NFU emphasised that a price increase is the only way to
secure continued production of British farm-assured chicken for UK consumers.
Poultry producers during the last few years have experienced continuous downward
price pressure while input costs like energy and labour have
According to NFU president Peter Kendall the British
chicken industry has been a great success story. "It has grown year on year with
consumer demand and produces an excellent product, promoted by the industry.
However, as the product price is squeezed and input costs soar, the farmer is
left with little over the cost of production. This means the industry cannot
modernise and invest, and [â€¦] it may mean farmers going out of business with an
obvious impact for long-term supply."
Kendall reflects the main
reason why the report 'British Chicken - What Price?' calls on the customers of
the poultry supply chain to increase the price paid to that chain, to meet
consumer demand for British chicken, while achieving a margin over production to
invest in the industry's future.
The industry has another regulatory
cost looming on the horizon: The new Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control
Regulations, which will add further cost to an already stretched
The IPPC legislation aims to prevent and control emissions
to air, land, and water, and to address energy efficiency, the consumption of
raw materials, noise, and site restoration. All of this means investment for
poultry producers, many of whom will not be able to cover the
The introduction of these new regulations could mean the end
for many producers. The NFU therefore is asking for a delayed implementation of
the IPPC, or at least for the costs to be mitigated and any charges or fees