At a first glance, some of the features in this month’s issue might make for slightly depressing reading, but pay a little more attention and that’s not really the case. 

Our economic outlook, while not predicting an El Dorado, certainly highlights some bright spots on the horizon. The industry may have to look a little harder to find them, but they are out there. It is not the case that everyone around the world is in economic turmoil. There are countries in the world that have escaped recession during the economic turmoil of the last few years, and while their growth rates may not be what they were, they are still healthy in comparison to the U.S. and Europe. 

There is money out there and consumers willing to spend – it is a question of honing in on those markets. Our lead story notes that there will continue to be a significant increase in the middle classes of India and China, and as the income of this group continues to rise, so will its demand for poultry meat. But there are other markets out there too that are changing with rising middle classes. 

Some opportunities are potentially very big. It may be a long way off, but free trade between the EU and the U.S. has been hitting the headlines again. While agriculture is more often than not a sticking point in such agreements, the declining economic power of the two regions relative to the rest of the world may well act as a driver in reaching a deal. Necessity is the mother of invention! 

This issue also takes a look at a number of proposals to come out of the UK regarding welfare and disease management. Where you stand on welfare issues is neither here nor there, and the recommendations are simply that – recommendations not policy. Yet, if they are indicative of things to come, being aware of them offers producers a number of opportunities, ranging from the chance to reshape the argument where any recommendations may be unacceptable or taking onboard any change prior to legislation so being ahead of competition. Forewarned is forearmed. 

We also take a look at alternatives to antibiotics. Many bemoan the tightening restrictions on on-farm antibiotic use. While antibiotics are unlikely to disappear completely from the producer’s arsenal in the fight against disease, there are other options that are commercially available and with an increasing body of scientific evidence behind their claims made. If you are not familiar with the options that are currently available, turn to our simple overview. 

So we may still not be living in a global boom, but there are opportunities out there. There may be more burdensome rules and regulations on the horizon, but these can offer opportunities too. 

In my last editorial, I wrote about transparency and controls in light of the horse meat scandal in Europe. While all very negative for meat processors and food retailers, such occurrences offer opportunities too. Anyone who can show that they have thorough and credible controls and communicate that well to those that have money to spend will win out against the competition. 

There is usually an opportunity somewhere!