Poultry & Eggs Tap into Consumer Needs

IRELAND - According to new figures announced at Bord Bia's Poultry and Egg Conference, the volume of eggs and poultry sold in Irish retail over the past year has increased by five per cent and six per cent, respectively.
calendar icon 4 November 2010
clock icon 4 minute read

The Irish retail egg market is now worth €79 million annually, while chicken sales are valued at €175 million. The one-day conference, held in association with the Irish Poultry and Egg Industry in the Hillgrove Hotel in Monaghan, attracted 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' provides a platform for Bord Bia 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, Chief Executive of Bord Bia commented: "The poultry and egg sector remains a valuable and integral part of the Irish agricultural economy, with output at farm level estimated at €150 million in 2009 (€120 million from poultry meat and €30 million from eggs). 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, with in excess of 30kg per capita consumed and this volume is increasing with annual chicken sales up by five per cent over the past year. However, one of the greatest issues for the poultrymeat sector is the level of imports which continue to exert downward pressure on the market and the indigenous Irish poultry industry.

Mr Cotter added: "Bord Bia is proud to say there are currently 40,000 producers and 134 processors and packers certified as members across all Bord Bia Quality Assurance schemes. We estimate that 98 per cent of all eggs and almost 95 per cent 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."

Professor Pat Wall, Associate Professor of Public Health, School of Public Health and Population Sciences, UCD said: "Poultry and eggs should be considered as 'superfoods'. They are versatile, affordable and the nutritional composition of both is suited to Irish lifestyles. Eggs and poultry are among the best dietary sources of protein, necessary for growth and repair; playing an important role in a healthy balanced diet."

A panel of high profile Irish and international speakers focussed on key topical items including international prospects, feed supply, future direction of the industry, poultry litter disposal, consumer needs and new marketing trends.

Keynote speakers included David Heckman (Global Poultry Marketing Manager, Elanco Animal Health), David Hickey (Senior Trader, R & H Hall), Dr Kevin McDonnell (UCD School of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine), John Campbell (Managing Director, Glenrath Farms, UK) and Wilhelm N. Kallhammer (Marketing & Sales co-ordinator, Ovotherm, Austria) and Hon. President of the International Egg Commission.

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