Economic Impact Assessment: The British Poultry Industry 2013


The Economic Impact Assessment: the British Poultry Industry 2013 has been published today. The report is the first analysis of its kind to be undertaken in the UK and fully charts the economic contribution of the British poultry meat industry to UK PLC. The report was commissioned by the BPC and undertaken by Oxford Economics. It is hoped that this research will be conducted annually to act as a benchmark for the industry and the economy as a whole.

Economic Impact Assessment 2013

BPC’s EU Manifesto


The next European Parliament should see itself as a facilitator of growth for the UK poultry industry 

Twelve Priorities

Ahead of the European Parliamentary elections on Thursday 22 May 2014, the British Poultry Council has today called on all candidates to see themselves as facilitators of growth in the UK poultry market.

Poultry is an important part of the European economy; in 2012 the EU-27 produced 12.9 million tonnes of poultry meat, employed an estimated 303,000 people and had a production value of €32 billion[1].

The UK market is second only to France in terms of EU production of poultry meat.  The British Poultry Council calls on all candidates to take forward twelve priorities over four key themes into the next parliamentary term.

-          Food Quality – Safeguard consumer confidence in food quality by defending hygiene standards, undertake microbiological inspections and ensure better labelling.

-          Sustainable Production - Be a champion for intensive poultry production, support its development and promote Genetically Modified technology and the responsible use of feed.

-          Animal Health and Welfare – Continue to lead on promoting animal welfare in other countries, implement risk based regulation and support self-regulation for compliant companies.

-          EU and the Global Marketplace – support market access to enable exports of poultry meat, review and where possible reduce the cost of regulation on the industry and insist that foreign imports meet the standards set by EU products.

[1] Competitiveness of the EU Poultry Meat Sector Report  pg 10

Value and Welfare Fit Together


Poultry is as good value now as it has ever been. Analysis from Timetric, on behalf of the poultry industry, demonstrated that over the last two decades poultry prices have risen at the slowest rate of 35 different food categories. This means that together with a huge variety of different products, from whole birds to ready-to-cook meals, consumers have more choice and great value. The increasing preference for a smaller bird size is a topic in the news recently and people have asked about the farming methods used. Bird welfare is based on the skill and passion shown by our farmers in their approach to poultry husbandry. Their excellent work is supported by the Red Tractor assurance scheme, the only standards that cover every element of production from hatch to slaughter.

Stocking density is one part of the overall approach and the Red Tractor standard here is 38 kg per sq. m. (compared to the UK legal limit of 39, and the EU limit of 42). In the hands of skilled farmers the birds have sufficient space for healthy and consistent growth, and the outcome is affordable and wholesome food on supermarket shelves. The industry has a proven record of bird welfare within its holistic standards and we are among the world leaders in this respect. BPC members are committed to providing everything a bird needs including sufficient light, warmth, water, food, and most of all top quality husbandry. The consumer can be confident that this British industry, which provides around half of all meat eaten in the UK, produces poultry to be proud of.

More information about the standards we adhere to can be found on the Red Tractor Assurance Scheme website.

EU Competitiveness Report of the Poultry Meat Sector 2013


A.V.E.C. who represent the European poultry meat sector has commissioned Wageningen University and Research Centre to conduct a study on the competitiveness of EU poultry. The report analyses the differences in production costs and how lower import levies between the European Union and third countries will impact the competitiveness of the European poultry meat sector.

For more information on the report please contact Cees Vermeeren, Secretary General or tel +3222381082.

To view the report please click here.

British Poultry Industry Celebrates Innovation & Excellence at Annual Awards


December 3, 2013

The British poultry industry celebrated outstanding achievements and potential for excellence during the British Poultry Council Annual Awards at the House of Commons on 2 December 2013.

Food and Farming Minister George Eustice MP and BPC Chairman John Reed presented the awards, highlighting the unique contributions of each winner to the poultry industry.

Farming Minister George Eustice said:

“The poultry sector is a thriving part of the UK’s £96 billion agri-food industry. I strongly support BPC’s efforts to attract new talent and this year’s winners represent the wide ranging skills of the industry. Whether experienced specialists or newcomers to poultry farming, all winners have shown dedication and passion for their work.”

The BPC Awards recognise years of distinguished service, contribution to marketing, potential for future excellence and support for the wider industry (see full list below).

BPC Chairman John Reed highlighted the key role of the British poultry industry in career and skill development:

“As an industry, we aim to attract, recruit, train, develop and retain quality people. The poultry industry is a significant force in the labour market and a first-rate employer. We already have successful training and scholarship programmes through the British Poultry Training initiative. Now, we need to focus on young people and make sure they understand that there are real prospects in the industry for them.”

The winners of the 2013 BPC Awards are:


Nicholas Ham (BPC-Zoetis Young Trainee of the Year) farm manager at Cargill for his good attention to detail, excellent stockmanship skills and great development potential.

Laura Beeson (BPC scholarship) for her new and exceptional review of how diets and dietary enzymes reduce persistent gut inflammation and inflammatory responses in birds.

Natasha Whenham (BPC scholarship) for her outstanding PhD research project with ABagri which involved understanding the properties of novel anti-microbial peptides and proteins from eggs and testing these against a range of strains such as E. Coli and salmonella strains.

Stephen Povey (Marketing and Promotion Award) for his ‘over and above the call of duty’ service to the industry. On top of a challenging workload at PD Hook, Stephen has supported the industry with activities including a re-vamped Poultry Meat Conference and the Poultry Industry Golf Challenge among many others.

David Neilson (the new Mid-Career award) for his outstanding work as part of the Cranberry team in achieving industry leading results in the UK with laying flocks under his control winning ‘flock of the year status’ globally with each of the two breeding companies.

Pam Westwood (Distinguished Service Award) for her long, dedicated and passionate service to the poultry industry. She was an integral part of the Senior Management Team that took the Cranberry turkey business from strength to strength in the last ten years and an active member of the BPC Human Resources committee

Steve Tweed (Distinguished Service Award) for his pivotal role within the poultry industry and at Cobb for over 20 years. Steve has provided technical hatchery support and expertise in all areas of modern incubation practices and has been dedicated to training hatchery managers and staff.

Graham Lord (Distinguished Service Award) for his dedication to the industry for over fifty years. He helped PD Hook develop into the largest independent hatchery in Europe and has been instrumental in developing and training new talents in the hatchery environment.

2014 Nuffield Farming Poultry Meat Scholarship Awarded to BPC Member


 October 22, 2013

We’re delighted to announce that BPC member Werner Strydom was awarded the prestigious Nuffield Farming Poultry Meat Scholarship for 2014.

Strydom, Regional Broiler Manager for 2Agriculture, will focus on ‘How can we reduce Campylobacter in the UK food chain?’.

The Nuffield Poultry Meat Scholarship is kindly sponsored by Aviagen, Cobb and Hubbard. Harry Irwin, of Free Range Chicken Ltd was instrumental in setting up the Poultry Meat Scholarship and it was to be a biannual award. The first Scholarship was awarded to Claire Bragg in 2013 to study” How does the broiler industry need to change to feed an increasing population?”

The Nuffield Board viewed Werner Strydom as an excellent potential Nuffield Scholar and the broiler genetics companies viewed Werner’s topic to study how to reduce Campylobacter in the UK food chain as so important they made an exceptional award for next year, rather than in 2015.

A Nuffield Scholarship to study Campylobacter represents a huge opportunity for the UK to lead the way in developing measures to successfully reduce Campylobacter in UK products to ensure that British consumers continue to trust our industry.

Setting the Record Straight – Growth Promoters


October 10, 2013

BPC and the NFU have moved to set the record straight on a story in the Sun today which we felt could seriously mislead readers.

The article by Lynsey Hope, ‘From farm to fork in six weeks’, discussed the age of animals at the point of slaughter and stated meat farmed in a conventional way is full of growth hormones, chemicals, pesticides and antibiotics. A concise version of the response below has been sent to the newspaper.

Dear Sir,

We read with interest Lynsey Hope’s article – ‘From farm to fork in six weeks’ (The Sun, 10 October).

Growth promoters were banned in the EU in 2006 and the British poultry industry stopped using them in the 90s. With regard to chemicals and pesticides, the UK Veterinary Residues Committee routinely tests poultry meat for any veterinary medicine and banned substances and poultry feed is also tested for any banned substances.

As far as the use of antibiotics is concerned, all animals have a right to be treated if they get sick, and the UK has a long history of using antibiotics responsibly and under strict veterinary supervision. Should birds be treated with antibiotics, strict withdrawal periods are applied in order to guarantee that the animal products or meat can safely enter the food chain.

Poultry producers use a range of production systems to meet the varying aspirations of different sections of the population and animal health and welfare is paramount to UK poultry producers in all rearing systems.

Andrew Large, BPC Chief Executive – Gary Ford, NFU Chief Poultry Advisor

BPC Launches New Schools Pack to Promote Poultry Careers to Young People


September 30, 2013

The British Poultry Council has created a set of educational resources for primary and secondary school pupils to promote a career in the poultry industry.

The first schools pack, which includes videos and lesson plans, has been produced with assistance from the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) and Farming and Countryside Education (FACE).

The schools pack gives a broad overview of the British poultry industry, including how it operates and contributes to the food we eat. At the primary school level, the material is designed to help children understand the importance of choosing and preparing nutritious and healthy food. It forms part of the BNF’s work to encourage healthy eating in the school programme, with the primary school material fitting into the food section of the National Curriculum.

The secondary school pack highlights the people working in the poultry sector and shows the opportunities available for school leavers – from apprenticeships to graduate programmes – to start them on a rewarding career path.

John Reed, Chairman of the BPC, commented:

“Strong consumer demand for British poultry offers hope for the industry’s future. It is imperative that children from primary school age upwards understand where their food comes from and how it is produced.

“Children begin to consider their career options as they progress through secondary school and it is important they are aware of the rewarding opportunities which the poultry sector can offer. A sustainable and successful British industry needs quality people who are given every opportunity to develop their skills. The poultry industry operates across the length and breadth of the UK and requires a diverse workforce, with different skills, in order to keep on feeding the nation.”

Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP, said:

“The success of the poultry industry, like the agri-food sector more widely, depends upon the right people with the right skills. Careers range from entry to PhD level with lots of scope for development and progression in one of the UK’s largest and most successful sectors. We will always need food and I am pleased to say the industry is always developing and growing.

“BPC and the poultry meat industry should be congratulated for their positive and proactive work to engage with school children. These school packs should help to build an awareness of the sector and the rewarding careers in the poultry industry amongst school children of all ages.”

Having finished the material, the BPC’s members intend to work with BNF and FACE to engage with schools near to their operations, to improve the poultry industry’s relationship with its local communities.

About the new schools pack

Primary school resources: The Food and Farming module for children supports primary school children learning about where their food comes from; the Cooking and Food module supports primary school children learning about food preparation and cooking; and The Food and Farming module supports primary school children learning about where their food comes from and how it is farmed. It has been compiled with the assistance of the British Nutrition Foundation which seeks to “deliver authoritative, evidence-based information on food and nutrition in the context of health and lifestyle”. More information at and

Secondary school resources: Through lesson suggestions, case studies and video clips, the processes involved in poultry production are explained in a way designed to engage pupils, demystify the industry and illustrate the very clear links to topical issues such as food, farming and the environment. The lesson suggestions and support materials will enable pupils to develop their enquiry skills, be involved in decision-making experiences and be actively engaged in finding out about a growing industry that plays a significant part in their lives and will offer future job opportunities. It has been compiled with the assistance of Farming and Countryside Education (FACE), an independent charity which aims to “educate children and young people about food and farming in a sustainable countryside”. For more information visit

Case studies: Examples of different roles on offer in the industry are available by visiting include an apprentice farm work, an apprentice maintenance engineer, a human resources apprentice, a pedigree production manager, an assistant farm manager and a location manager.



Industry United to Get Shoppers to Back British Poultry Meat


September 25, 2013

The NFU, British Poultry Council, Red Tractor and some of the UK’s biggest retailers and foodservice companies have joined forces to promote the chicken industry and to help promote the Red Tractor mark of quality.

All have thrown their weight behind the new-look Love Chicken recipe website, which aims to encourage consumers to look out for British poultry meat when out and about shopping.

The website can be found at

Recipes have been donated by retailers Tesco, Waitrose, celebrity chef Cyrus Todiwala, food service companies Brakes and Compass, and Red Tractor-certified rapeseed oil producer Hillfarm Oils.

British Poultry Council Head of External Relations Caroline Leroux said:

“British consumers know poultry meat is nutritious, wholesome and affordable and they have consistently made poultry their favourite meat – one in two meat meals in the UK is poultry.

“We’re delighted to work with the NFU and Red Tractor to promote our great British chicken with lots of recipes, hygiene tips and exciting news.”

NFU Poultry Adviser Chris Dickinson said:

“We are extremely proud that so many organisations and individuals have thrown their support behind the Love Chicken campaign. It’s only right that we shout about the high standards and welfare the industry adheres to in the UK, to produce a world-class product.

“Love Chicken has always been a popular website for food lovers and we hope the extra content kindly provided by our friends will make it even more popular.”

Red Tractor Assurance Brand Executive Georgina Park said:

“We’re delighted to be involved in the NFU and the British Poultry Council’s new website. It’s the perfect platform to celebrate the quality Red Tractor assured chicken with delicious recipes and cooking tips and show shoppers why you can trust the tractor on your chicken.”

A series of promotional activities will take place over the next 12 months to promote the site through social media, via its @chickenmeals account on Twitter and its presence on Facebook (

Anyone wishing to support the Love Chicken campaign or who wants to provide any recipes for the website should email or call 02476 858664. Similarly, if you would like to feature any of Love Chicken’s recipes online or in-print, get in touch for hi-res images.

BPC Welcomes Government’s Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy


September 11, 2013

Commenting on the newly released Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy, BPC Agricultural Policy Manager Máire Burnett said:

“The British Poultry Council welcomes the Government’s antimicrobial resistance strategy. We are strongly committed to the promotion of a responsible and prudent use of antibiotics in poultry production and human medicine.

 “Antibiotic resistance is a complex issue and poultry producers take the matter very seriously. The strategy recognizes concerted efforts from the animal health sector and refers to the BPC’s voluntary ban on certain antibiotics considered critically important for human health in day old chicks as a prime example of responsible prescribing in the veterinary sector.

 “Alongside RUMA, we look forward to working with the Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Veterinary Officer and play an active role in the strategy.”

The Alliance for Responsible Use of Medicine in Agriculture (RUMA) welcomed the strategy in a joint statement with Defra, BVA, RCVS, NFU and NOA.