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The poultry industry's key trends and unexpected challenges explored in IPPE Marketplace Week

The Poultry Market Intelligence Forum, part of the IPPE trade show, brings insights from leading economists and industry experts.

1 February 2021, at 8:41am

“Something that never would have been imagined a few years ago is that chicken would surpass pork protein. Yet as we sit here in 2021, pork production has dropped and chicken stands poised to remain in the top spot in global meat production moving forward,” remarked Dr Paul Aho, economist and consultant at Poultry Perspective, during the virtual Poultry Market Intelligence Forum held during the 2021 International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) Marketplace Week. The program included speakers presenting via videoconferencing software and participating in live Q&A sessions with attendees.

Aho’s presentation focused on global drivers and market influences for the coming year. He provided an overview of how the poultry meat industry has fluctuated over the past year and how these changes may impact the 2021 market. Wide-scale events affecting the protein industry were discussed as well, specifically COVID-19, which Aho predicted will continue to affect global economies and meat production into 2022.

The discussion on market analysis was continued by Will Sawyer, lead animal protein economist at CoBank, who shared his 2021 outlook for animal protein. Though he addressed global factors, Sawyer’s presentation also focused on consumer priorities related to sustainability. “While we do see various issues, from African swine fever to COVID-19, as market drivers that continue to require our attention, one issue that has become the overarching conversation from consumers is that of sustainability,” explained Sawyer. “How will the industry, from lenders to producers to suppliers, think about sustainability? How do you evolve your business and supply chain to try to improve the way your business impacts the environment? It’s an issue gaining a lot of attention, so it needs to be a central priority in creating our business models for the coming years.”

Christian Richter, principal at The Policy Group, shared a Washington update with attendees, providing an overview of how new leadership in both the executive and legislative branches may affect the animal protein industry. “It is stunning to see how significant the issue of climate change is going to be for this administration, across federal agencies,” commented Richter. “Even though we need to be prepared for a White House agenda that may be more aggressive, there are fair-minded people in decision-making positions who view agriculture as a partner, not an enemy. This works to our advantage, and we can look forward to working more closely with them in the coming months.”