Poultry industry’s top contributors recognised

The British Poultry Council (BPC) has celebrated the industry’s top professionals at its annual awards ceremony. 

Held yesterday (Tuesday, 6 December) at the House of Commons, the event recognised those who have contributed to the industry in the areas of distinguished service, marketing excellence, emerging young people and superior research.

“We are here to celebrate the people of the poultry meat industry,” said BPC chairman John Reed. “From those just starting their careers right through to those who have given distinguished service over a long period. The poultry industry has been ‘home’ to many of us for more years than we care to remember. We are an important food and farming sector with a responsibility to feed the nation with wholesome, nutritious, and affordable produce.”

Defra minister George Eustice MP attended the ceremony where he presented the awards to the winners.

Distinguished Service: Mary Clark, 2 Sisters Poultry
Distinguished Service: David Harkin, Moy Park
Distinguished Service: David Keeble, Faccenda Foods
Marketing Award: Aviagen Marketing Team (led by Claudia Bell and Amie Crozier)
BPC/Zoetis Trainee of the Year: Sean Harrison, Faccenda Foods
Student Scholarship Award: Kirsty Reid

Reed also took the opportunity to highlight the importance of the poultry sector to employment levels, with 84,500 jobs across the industry. Following on from Brexit, he said, the sector must be able to continue to source labour from the UK and the EU. Of all the issues surrounding the EU referendum result, this is considered the most urgent, with the BPC calling on the government to ensure that EU labour is still accessible.

“All our employees, regardless of nationality, have been integral to our success and our growth,” added Reed. “If we are to continue in the same vein, then the open approach to sourcing labour must be maintained. We cannot continue to grow on UK labour alone. Food and farming is our largest manufacturing sector with the potential to be the stalwart of British productivity for generations to come, and poultry meat will be a major part of that.”

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