Revive tradition by eating British Goose at Michaelmas

Aug18

We’re fast approaching Michaelmas, which marks the start of the farming year and a traditional time to eat goose.  A new website was launched today for the British Goose Producers (BGP), a sector group of the British Poultry Council (BPC). You can use the website to find your local goose producer and some delicious recipes to try here.

untitledGateway for advice

Many of today’s successful British goose producers began their own operations on a very small scale and the BGP is an effective gateway for help and advice.

Members of the BGP attend meetings, seminars and farm walks, and gain access to useful facts about starting up in goose production, sourcing goslings and marketing oven-ready product.

Wider benefits

As a sector group of the BPC, members of BGP enjoy wider benefits including being kept up to date with important information on UK legislation, regulations, codes of practice and guidance covering topics such as animal health and welfare, food safety, marketing and environmental protection.

For more information on BGP membership, please email info@britishpoultry.org.uk

Defra lift restrictions on Preston Surveillance Zone

Aug17

As there have been no new confirmed cases of HPAI H7N7, Defra have lifted the restrictions on the areas surrounding the affected site near Preston. Restrictions remain in force on poultry meat produced in the former Protection Zone before it was lifted.

The British Poultry Council, British Egg Industry Council, and the International Meat Traders Association are continuing to work closely with Defra to minimise the impact on trade.

Click here for more information and guidance on how to minimise the risk of infection.

 

 

British Poultry Council welcomes new starter

Aug14

British Poultry Council welcomes new starter

Laura Stearman has recently joined the team at BPC as Public Affairs Manager.

 

She said, “I’m thrilled to be working with the team at BPC. The poultry industry is such a progressive and exciting sector and I’m looking forward to supporting the industry in gainingLS Westminster wider recognition for its achievements in key areas like employment, health and welfare and sustainable food production.”

Laura has worked in the agri-food industry for a number of years working across sectors. She spent almost two years on the trainee scheme at the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) working on a number of issues such as employment, bTB and campylobacter. Laura led on the NFU’s campylobacter project organising the NFU conference in 2014 and worked as Agriculture Technical Manager for Banham Poultry in Norfolk for almost a year before moving to BPC.

Defra Issue Notification of Regionalisation

Aug10

Acting with cross-sector support Defra have issued a notification of regionalisation in respect to the recent avian influenza outbreak in Lancashire. The notification document can be viewed here.

The document will be of use to inform third countries of the current AI situation and to facilitate the re-opening of export markets, which is crucial to UK producers. The British Poultry Council, British Egg Industry Council, and the International Meat Traders Association have been working closely with Defra to minimise the impact on trade. 

Avian Influenza Confirmed on an Egg-laying Farm in Lancashire

Jul13

A case of H7N7 avian flu has now been confirmed near Preston, Lancashire. A temporary control zone imposed on Friday at the affected farm has now been replaced by a 10 kilometre surveillance zone and an inner 3 kilometre protection zone. All further information can be found on the Defra website: https://www.gov.uk/avian-influenza-bird-flu#latest-situation

Andrew Large, Chief Executive of the British Poultry Council, said: “Action is being taken to contain the Avian Influenza and to prevent any possible spread. We are monitoring the situation closely. As ever, poultry farmers are urged to maintain high vigilance and bio-security.”

About avian influenza

Avian influenza is a virus that causes disease in birds. Poultry, pigeons and wild or migratory birds, such as ducks, swans, and geese, can become infected with the virus. There are two forms of the virus: high pathogenicity (HPAI) and low pathogenicity (LPAI). Pathogenicity indicates the severity of the disease if the bird contracts the virus.

Low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) is usually less serious. It can cause mild breathing problems, but affected birds will not always show clear signs of infection. The severity of LPAI depends on the type of bird and whether it has any other illnesses.

British Poultry Industry Continues Strong Growth in 2014

Jul03

The BPC has released its latest Annual Report, which can be viewed here.

The British poultry meat industry’s contribution to UK GDP has increased by 9% over the last year, up from £3.3bn to £3.6bn, according to a new analysis by Oxford Economics.

‘Economic Impact of the British Poultry Meat Industry 2015’, commissioned by the British Poultry Council and published on their website today, tracks the growth of the industry over the past year. Compared to last year, UK sales have increased in value by 13%, up from £6.1bn to £6.9bn, with exports also up 6.6% from £286m to £305m.

The increase in production is good news for UK plc. Contribution to UK GDP is up, and tax receipts are up by 10%, £1.1bn compared to £1bn. The number of jobs the industry supports has also increased by more than 8%. The industry now employs 79,300, compared to just 73,200 a year ago, both directly and through its wider supply chain.

Commenting on the launch of the report, BPC Chief Executive Andrew Large said:

“Our annual report is a timely reminder of the importance of the poultry meat industry to UK plc, supporting tens of thousands of jobs and contributing £ billions to UK GDP. We are delighted the industry keeps going from strength to strength.

“There are significant opportunities in both domestic and export markets and we look forward to working with government to realise these potential opportunities. Key to catering to this demand will be the industry’s ability to upgrade its capital assets. That’s why we have written to the Chancellor and asked him to consider maintaining the annual capital investment allowance in plant and machinery at its current level as part of his Summer Budget next week. We appreciate there are many demands on public finances, but this would make a huge difference to the industry and help it increase it’s contribution to UK GDP in future”.

FSA Retail Survey – 4th quarter results

May28

The FSA has released the fourth quarter of results from its retail survey of campylobacter in whole chicken. The cumulative results for the four quarters shows that the overall incidence of campylobacter in whole chicken stands at 73%, with contamination in the highest category being at 19.4%. For full details of the survey results please see the FSA website.

The BPC and its members remain committed to reducing campylobacter in chicken as a top priority, and we are active in the ACT Board chaired by former NFU Director General Richard MacDonald. This group is facilitating the adoption of interventions throughout the supply chain.

Campylobacter is a naturally occurring bacteria and our knowledge and understanding of this complex bug is increasing quickly through dedicated research and practical trials of interventions.

As highlighted by the FSA, individual producers and their retail customers are working bilaterally to trial options including enhanced biosecurity, management of thinning, improved processing, temperature treatments, and novel packaging. It is worth reiterating that campylobacter is killed by thorough cooking and cross contamination can easily be avoided by good kitchen hygiene practices.

The BPC is committed to ensuring that when practical and effective solutions for beating campylobacter are developed they will be made available to all producers.

Consumers can follow progress in tackling the bacterium on the Campylobacter website: www.campylobacter.org.uk

-ENDS-

Media contact

For more information call Ailsa Logan on 0207 400 4480 or email bpc@hanovercomms.com.

Notes to Editors

  1. About the Campylobacter website

The Joint Working Group on Campylobacter launched www.campylobacter.org.uk on 26 November 2014 It has been designed by the group to provide consumers information on campylobacter, the work being undertaken to understand the bacterium, steps being taken and the progress in tackling it in the UK. As a central resource, it also has information on the role consumers can play in tackling the bug at home – like any bacteria, campylobacter is killed by proper cooking and good kitchen hygiene should always be followed when handling any meat.

  1. About the British Poultry Council

The British Poultry Council is the leading representative organisation for companies and individuals engaged in breeding, hatching, rearing and processing chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese to produce poultry meat. BPC members are responsible for producing over 90% of the UK’s total output of poultry meat, which included just over 900 million chicken broilers in 2014 (up from just over 780 million in 2001). Based on sales of £6.1 billion in 2012, the poultry meat industry made a £3.3 billion gross value added contribution to UK GDP. The industry supports 73,200 jobs in the UK – 35,400 direct, 25,100 in the supply chain and 12,800 in wage consumption). By weight, poultry makes up around half of all meat purchased in the UK.

BPC backs Food Safety Week

May18

The British Poultry Council welcomes this year’s Food Safety Week, stressing the poultry industry’s commitment to working with the FSA, retailers and consumers to raise awareness about the importance of proper kitchen safety and food hygiene practices.

Andrew Large, Chief Executive of the British Poultry Council, said: “We wholly support the #ChickenChallenge. It is a great initiative which enables consumers to pledge their commitment to kitchen safety, food hygiene and as a result, reducing campylobacter cases.

“The importance of safe handling of meat is timely as we enter barbecue season. Poultry is a perfect high-quality and nutritious food to enjoy on the barbecue, but people need to make sure that they prepare and cook food properly. Raw chicken need not be washed, and all utensils, chopping boards and surfaces thoroughly washed after preparing raw chicken; as should your hands. Poultry also needs to be thoroughly cooked on the barbecue until juices run clear.”

The poultry industry has worked with the FSA, DEFRA, BRC and the NFU since 2009, through a Joint Working Group, on a campylobacter reduction plan. Last year, the JWG launched a website which allows consumers to follow its progress in tackling the bacterium.
The website can be found at www.campylobacter.org.uk.

-Ends-

Notes to Editors
1.About Food Safety Week
During this annual initiative the FSA will share a number of tips about what consumers can do to protect themselves and their family from food poisoning in their own home, particularly when handling chicken.

2. About the 2015 #ChickenChallenge
The FSA is urging the public to take the “Chicken Challenge” and pledge to take action to help protect themselves and their loved ones against Campylobacter food poisoning. More information can be found here: www.food.gov.uk/chickenchallenge.

3. About Campylobacter
Campylobacter is a naturally occurring bacteria found in the gut of many animals. It is a global issue and all those involved in supplying meat have a role to play in reducing campylobacter. People handling fresh chicken and other meats – whether in restaurant kitchens or in the home – should always follow good hygiene practices and cook food thoroughly as this kills campylobacter.

The poultry industry has been working hard to tackle campylobacter and fully recognises its responsibility to ensure the food it produces is safe. It has worked with the FSA, DEFRA, BRC and the NFU since 2009, on a reduction plan. The partnership approach has been successful in driving industry-wide efforts.

Over the last five years, over 70 scientific research projects into the bacteria have been conducted and new trials are currently taking place. While much new information has been obtained through these projects, more work is required to find a consistent means of reduction.

In 2015, we will be moving to a delivery phase with large scale trials and implementation of those measures that are most promising for campylobacter reduction. The industry will continue to work closely with all the JWG partners to implement effective measures against campylobacter as soon as practical.

4. Chicken statistics
Chicken is the most popular meat eaten in the UK. In 2014 about 900 million British birds were bred, hatched, reared, and slaughtered in this country. We also imported the equivalent of (as cuts, portions, and products) another 400 million birds, the majority of which was from other European countries. We can also estimate how many times chicken is eaten every year in the UK. 95% of the population (60.9 million people) eat chicken, and they tend to do so at least twice a week. Over the course of a year that is 6.3 billion occasions where chicken is eaten in homes, schools, hospitals, and restaurants across the country.

5. About the British Poultry Council
The British Poultry Council is the leading representative organisation for companies and individuals engaged in breeding, hatching, rearing and processing chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese to produce poultry meat. BPC members are responsible for producing over 90% of the UK’s total output of poultry meat, which included just over 900 million chicken broilers in 2014 (up from just over 780 million in 2001). Based on sales of £6.1 billion in 2012, the poultry meat industry made a £3.3 billion gross value added contribution to UK GDP. The industry supports 73,200 jobs in the UK – 35,400 direct, 25,100 in the supply chain and 12,800 in wage consumption). By weight, poultry makes up around half of all meat purchased in the UK.

POLITICAL PARTIES COMMIT TO SUPPORTING POULTRY INDUSTRY IN NEXT GOVERNMENT

Mar24

In early March 2015, the British Poultry Council and Elanco, the global animal health company, hosted a poultry industry hustings event in London, in advance of the 2015 General Election.  The participants were George Eustice MP (Conservative – Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for farming, food and marine environment), Huw Irranca-Davies MP (Labour -Shadow Minister Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and Roger Williams MP (Liberal Democrat – Member of the EFRA Select Committee). The Husting’s event was moderated by Julia Glotz, Managing Editor of the Grocer Magazine, and the audience made up of senior representatives of the UK poultry industry.

The hustings focused on four key issues: Food Security, Government, specific poultry industry priorities and science and innovation.

Food Security

All participants were united in their view that food security would be based around a strong UK production base. It would no longer be sufficient for the UK to rely on its relative wealth to secure supplies.  George Eustice focused on the importance of open markets and global trade as an adjunct to UK supply. This was echoed by Huw Irranca-Davies who saw that a diversity of supply sources would build resilience into the UK supply of food. Roger Williams further noted that the acceptance of poultry raised on GM feed by most UK supermarkets was a further support to UK food security.

Government

Roger Williams stated that the Liberal Democrats would issue a separate manifesto for the food and farming sectors. Huw Irranca-Davies stated that Labour would both retain food as a core part of their Industrial Strategy and revisit the Food 2030 Strategy published when they were in Government. The Conservatives were focused on growing the UK food and farming sector, including poultry meat and aimed to reduce regulatory burdens and increase export opportunities.

All the participants noted that Government austerity was here to stay and that DEFRA’s budget would be cut, whichever party was in power after May 7th. For Huw Irranca-Davies, Labour was going through the budget “line by line” and tough choices would have to be made in future as the process of cutting across the board had reached its limits. Roger Williams noted that the Liberal Democrats had “safeguarded the science budget”. George Eustice added that the Conservatives had protected the resources of Government vets and aimed to support the poultry industry to grow.

Considering the future of the FSA, all three participants felt that it should remain an arms’ length body, and were committed to the food crime unit. However, Labour is actively considering returning some of the FSA’s previous responsibilities, such as labelling, food governance and international trade. George Eustice believed the split of responsibilities remained the right approach, as labelling needed to be within a Ministerial department. For Roger Williams it was important that the Food Crime Unit had real teeth, so as to prevent a repeat of the horsemeat scandal.

There was some divergence in the positions adopted on European policy and its impact on the food industry. For George Eustice, the preferred outcome of a renegotiation would be “just a single market and customs union” and for the UK to be able to “pick and mix” other elements. Huw Irranca-Davies acknowledged the frustrations with current EU policies, but believed strongly that Britain was better off “being inside the club and writing the rules”. For Roger Williams, the access to the single market was the most important element, and the UK needed to be better at forging relationships with other EU countries.

Science and innovation

All three parties recognised the importance of utilising technology to help the industry grow and compete in an ever expanding global food market. George Eustice commented on the Agri-Tech Strategy and ambitions to increase competitiveness. He noted the importance of new husbandry technology, welfare science and genetics to maximise production efficiencies and the continued use of science for the maximising processing capabilities. Huw Irranca-Davies highlighted their intention for a scientific ‘referee’ to balance the social sciences and public concerns. Roger Williams commented on their science led philosophy, support for genetically modified foods and their intention to safe-guard the science budget.

Poultry priorities

All participants recognised the importance of a rapid reaction to the recent Avian Influenza outbreak. George Eustice confirmed that the Government was considering changes to the compensation scheme in the aftermath of the 2014 -2015 outbreak. For Huw Irranca-Davies, both the timeliness and funding of the secondary cleaning and disinfection needed to be reviewed. Roger Williams considered that ultimately DEFRA should have a reserve power to force such a clean-up.

George Eustice recognised the importance of international trade to the UK poultry industry. UK demand is for white meat and UK dark meat needs export markets. In his view, TTIP could and should be made to work for the UK poultry sector. Roger Williams noted that he had led a debate on TTIP and the poultry industry in the House of Commons and that politicians now understood the risks posed by the difference in standards between the EU and US. Huw Irranca-Davies stated that TTIP must not lead to a drop in standards and that the US was a tough negotiator, which put the onus on the EU side to remain robust in the discussions.

Unfortunately, George Eustice had to leave the Hustings before the question on campylobacter could be asked. For Roger Williams, better education in kitchen hygiene in schools would help in reducing all levels of food borne illness. Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats committed to continuing the joint working currently undertaken by the Acting on Campylobacter Together initiative under the auspices of the FSA.

Speaking after the hustings had closed, Andrew Large, Chief Executive of the British Poultry Council said: “This has been a fantastic event. I am very grateful to all three participants for their candour in answering the poultry industry’s questions. It is clear that all respondents have a high opinion of the UK poultry sector and its importance in ensuring the UK’s food security in the years to come.”

Elanco’s Head of Poultry, Jerry Glover, commented: “This event importantly drew together leaders in the food industry, with agricultural policy decision makers. And, what is more, it provided a timely opportunity to highlight industry priorities, including the importance of science and innovation to the future of the UK poultry sector.”

-ENDS-

Media contact

Chris Potter 07540 501 173 cpotter@britishpoultry.org.uk

Notes to Editors

  1. About the British Poultry Council – The British Poultry Council is the leading representative organisation for companies and individuals engaged in breeding, hatching, rearing and processing chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese to produce poultry meat. BPC members are responsible for producing over 90% of the UK’s total output of poultry meat, which included over 900 million poultry birds in 2014. Based on sales of £6.1 billion in 2013, the poultry meat industry made a £3.3 billion gross value added contribution to UK GDP. The industry supports 73,200 jobs in the UK – 35,400 direct, 25,100 in the supply chain and 12,800 in wage consumption). By weight, poultry makes up around half of all meat purchased in the UK.
  2. The BPC Hustings took place on 4th March 2015 – The participants were George Eustice MP, Huw Irranca-Davies MP and Roger Williams MP. The Hustings was moderated by Julia Glotz, Managing Editor of the Grocer Magazine and the audience made up of senior representatives of the UK poultry industry.
  3. The British Poultry Council is grateful for Elanco’s support in the organisation of this hustings. More information on Elanco, the global animal health company, can be found here: http://www.elancoanimalhealth.co.uk/
  4. Elanco is a world leader in developing products and services that enhance animal health, wellness and performance. Elanco products contribute to the production of an affordable and abundant supply of food, while also helping to ensure the safety of that food. Innovative new pet products help companion animals live longer, healthier, happier lives. Our half-century of innovative products, services and global partnerships help to fulfill our vision of food and companionship enriching life. Elanco operates from a global headquarters in Indiana, USA, and employs over 2,500 people in more than 40 countries. Elanco is a division of Eli Lilly and Company, a Fortune 500 global pharmaceutical corporation in Indianapolis with a heritage more than 130 years strong.

European Poultry Breeders, Hatcheries and Exporters of Hatching Eggs and Day-Olds establish a new European association for Live Poultry and Poultry Hatching Eggs (ELPHA)

Mar24

ELPHA (European Live Poultry and Poultry Hatching Egg Association) has been established on 23rd of March 2015 in a meeting that gathered the founding members the European associations EPB (poultry breeders), AEH (hatcheries) and EPEXA (traders of hatching eggs and day-old chicks) and the national associations BPC (British Poultry Council), BTT (Hungarian Poultry Product Association) and ZDG (Central German Poultry Organisation).

The value of the new common organization is a better representation and promotion of the common interests of the European live poultry businesses in the policy area of live poultry and hatching eggs towards the European institutions as the European Commission and the European Parliament. The main interests of ELPHA members are in the areas of EU trade and export, animal health, animal welfare and genetics, while at the same time the base of food safety and security starts with the production of live poultry.

The Executive Board of ELPHA consists of President Mr Jacques de Lange (NL), Vice President Mr Graeme Dear (UK ), Treasurer Mr Anton Butijn (NL), Mr Leo Graf von Drechsel (DE) and Mr Thijs Hendrix (NL), Mr Andrew Large and Mr Louis Perrault have been appointed as Deputy Member of the Executive Board.

The mission of the Executive Board will be:
– to initiate actions especially in the interests of the activities ELPHA is representing;
– to actively stimulate and motivate members and experts in cooperating in working groups and other committees;
– to represent ELPHA toward the European institution in meetings with Commission officials and Members of the European Parliament.

ELPHA represents a sector with a production of about 8.5 billion hatching eggs. About 1 billion hatching eggs are exported to outside the EU with a value of over 250 million Euros, and a similar number is traded within the EU. More than 6 billion day old chicks for poultry meat production and about 400 million day old layers for table egg production are hatched from these hatching eggs.

For more information:
Mr. Cees Vermeeren, Secretary General, e-mail: ELPHA.EU@gmail.com or T +32 2238 1082 Brussels, March 23rd, 2015

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