UK poultry will 'outperform low welfare imports'

Farming and poultry officials have said there is great optimism for the poultry sector after the annual Poultry Conference was held recently by NFU Cymru.

Poultry rearers were given the encouraging news in a series of speeches by Vion poultry marketing director Dave Cook and NFU poultry advisor Kelly Watson among others at NFU Cymru’s headquarters in Builth Wells.

NFU Cymru added that research carried out on behalf of UK poultry farmers has also indicated that there has been strong growth in the free-range chicken market last year.

Vion’s Dave Cook said: “In general, Vion research shows that shoppers are investing more time and effort in preparing meals, with more consumers cooking meals at home and preparing lunches at home for school and work.

"What is also interesting is that consumer interest in animal welfare has continued to grow during the recession. Therefore there is a positive outlook for the UK – we believe demand for British chicken will remain buoyant and that welfare standards will be key in consumer choice.”

Tony Burgess, NFU Cymru poultry group chairman, added: “The speakers have given us a fascinating insight into global trends, UK consumer trends and some exciting Wales-based research and development into this sector.

"All in all, the future for eggs and white meat in Wales is looking good and assured. However, we do need to ensure that future food labelling is clear for consumers to be able to understand and identify home-produced food from imported.”

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