Irish poultry retail sales rise

Irish poultry retail sales has increases by 6% over the past year according to figures released at Board Bía’s Poultry and Egg Conference held this week.

The Irish retail chicken market is now valued at €175m (Kantar Worldpanel).

The statistics were announced as part of a one-day conference, held in association with the Irish Poultry and Egg Industry in the Hillgrove Hotel, Monaghan, attracting over 200 delegates ranging from poultry growers, processors, egg producers and packers to millers and retailers.

The conference entitled ‘Poultry & Eggs: Tapping into Consumer Needs’ provided a platform for Bord Bía and the poultry and egg sector to discuss trends, technical advances and trade developments and activities.

In the closing address of the conference Dermot Ryan, deputy chief inspector at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, drew attention to the Department’s recently launched Food Harvest 2020 report and the particular provisions of this initiative that “will be significant to the development of the poultry and egg sector over the coming decade.”

He highlighted the importance of research into “new technologies aimed at improving production efficiencies as well as further development of innovative and value-added output as crucial to competitiveness and future growth”.

Speaking at the event, Aidan Cotter, Bord Bía chief executive, commented: “The poultry and egg sector remains a valuable and integral part of the Irish agricultural economy, with output at farm level estimated at €150m in 2009. The sector is a significant employer in rural Ireland with over 6,000 people employed in poultry processing and egg packing and up to a further 850 farms involved in the production of poultry and eggs.”

Ireland has one of the highest levels of poultry meat consumption within the EU, said Bord Bía, with in excess of 30kg per capita consumed. This volume is increasing with annual chicken sales up by 5% over the past year. However, one of the biggest issues for the poultry meat sector is the level of imports that continue to exert downward pressure on the market and the indigenous Irish poultry industry, it added.

“Bord Bía is proud to say there are currently 40,000 producers and 134 processors and packers certified as members across all Bord Bía Quality Assurance schemes. We estimate that 98% of all eggs and almost 95% of all poultry produced in Ireland are produced under the scheme. Over the coming weeks, we will be promoting the vast range of Quality Mark produce to increase awareness and purchase frequency during the Christmas season,” Cotter added.

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