While retail demand for chicken meat remained strong throughout summer 2021, a few fine weather events saw a swing away from poultry to red meats, traditional BBQ options. This slight tapering off of demand, along with the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions on foodservice resulted in a poor market for chicken, combined with the ongoing increase in production capacity at farm levels up to the end of 2020, has left a slight over capacity in the market place. The outlook remains positive with reopening of food service and back to school expected to return demand to more normal levels in the short term.
Broiler poultry slaughtering for 2021 continue to run at 4% above corresponding throughput in 2020. The increase in commodity grain and protein feed costs has resulted in a squeeze on all poultry margins, for both processor and farmer. Most retailers recognise this increased cost of production and wholesale prices have been increased to reflect this. Unfortunately, this is not true across the board with all retailers. Dunnes Stores in particular have resisted covering this increased cost as requested and have introduced a small percentage of non Bord Bia quality assured product on the retail shelf. This is a practice that the IFA, as an organisation representing all farmers, must resist.
Poultry Working Group (PWG)
While the IFA Poultry Committee rejected the PWG proposals for a national disease fund and associated levy, PWG has remained engaged with the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine. While the department is still exploring possible avenues to possibly provide some financial and administration support, there is no clear agreed path. IFA is exploring the possibility of specific producer group disease funds. The risk and threat of disease in the intensive poultry industry both to broiler and egg producers is not a situation that can be allowed to continue without some protection for farmers.
Issues facing the poultry sector:
- Nitrates Action Plan proposals
- Ammonia Emissions
- Odour Modelling and Odour Management plans
- Litter Storage
- Licensing – new and review licenses
- Council Council planning restrictions in certain area (Monaghan)
Ireland’s National Nitrates Action Plan will have an effect on all productive sectors, and poultry, with a tradition of exporting litter to landowners, is reliant on a workable regime for everybody. The continuation of the Nitrates derogation is vital to avoid a reduction in the available spread landbank. The overall IFA submission on the Nitrates Action Plan (NAP) will cover all sectors. The Poultry Committee is planning on completing a supporting submission in conjunction with the IFA Pig Committee on the NAP. The moving of the 15th of October spreading closing date to the 15th of September is of particular issue to both of these litter and slurry exporting sectors.
IFA have engaged with the licence division of the EPA bilaterally negotiating how famers can be compliant with current EPA licences and review licenses where needed.