EU Hen Welfare Tops Agenda at UK NFU

EU - The Welfare of Laying Hens Directive remained top of the agenda when poultry board vice chairman Duncan Priestner made his report at a council meeting of England's National Farmers Union yesterday.
calendar icon 18 April 2012
clock icon 2 minute read

The Commission had estimated 2.5 per cent drop in egg production across the EU due to a cut-back in chick placings following a period of over supply. However, the Welfare of Laying Hens Directive has had a much bigger impact, with total EU production estimated to be down by 10-15 per cent, with a 20 per cent drop in Spanish production, he said.

As a result wholesale rates have increased substantially, ending 18 months of “horrendous” prices. However, Mr Priestner noted that demand has slackened in recent weeks and the free-range sector continued to have a “tough time”, picking up only small gains on the back of the wholesale market.

The vice chairman added that free range sales were still suffering from over-supply and with reports of many new free range units being built, he said that managing that, while supporting those in the sector, would be a challenge for the board going forwards.

Another area of concern was the year-round turkey market, which had “disappeared”.

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