Poultry industry adds £300m extra to UK GDP

The affordability of poultry products relative to other foods has helped the industry grow its contribution to UK GDP by £300 million. 

According to the ‘Economic Impact of the British Poultry Meat Industry 2015’, commissioned by the British Poultry Council, the industry’s contribution has grown 9% from £3.3bn last year to £3.6bn.

UK poultry sales have increased in value by 13%, up from £6.1bn to £6.9bn.

The report stated that poultry prices rose by only 13% between 2008 and 2014, compared with increases of 23% for foodstuffs in general, 35% for beef and 42% for lamb, which has appealed to those looking to stretch their household budgets.

The report also revealed that British consumers bought more poultry than any other meat in 2014 and, by weight, poultry was 47% of all meat purchased in the UK with the average household spending £2.30 per week on poultry, up from £2 in 2010.                      Breakdown of meat purchases by UK consumers 

Breakdown of meat purchases by UK consumers

The number of jobs the poultry industry supports has also increased by more than 8% over the year. It now employs 79,300, compared to just 73,200 a year ago, both directly and through its wider supply chain.

On the international trade side, UK poultry meat exports were valued at £305m in 2014 (up 120% since 2000). Some 69% of export earnings were from sales to other EU countries, with the remaining 31% to the rest of the world. By status, 75% of export earnings in 2014 were made from the sales of frozen meat, with the remainder fresh or chilled. The UK spent £1,059m on imports of poultry meat in 2014.

Andrew Large, British Poultry Council chief executive, said: “Our annual report is a timely reminder of the importance of the poultry meat industry to UK PLC, supporting tens of thousands of jobs and contributing £ billions to UK GDP. We are delighted the industry keeps going from strength to strength.”

Large also looked to future opportunities for the poultry industry and urged the government to support it.

“There are significant opportunities in both domestic and export markets and we look forward to working with government to realise these potential opportunities. Key to catering to this demand will be the industry’s ability to upgrade its capital assets. That’s why we have written to the Chancellor and asked him to consider maintaining the annual capital investment allowance in plant and machinery at its current level as part of his Summer Budget next week. We appreciate there are many demands on public finances, but this would make a huge difference to the industry and help it increase its contribution to UK GDP even further”.

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