Leaders from Perdue Farms and the Commonwealth of Virginia expect to see chicken exports increase dramatically as China’s seven-year-old ban on poultry from Virginia comes to an end. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe on June 17 announced that the first shipment of Virginia poultry to China since 2007 – chicken wing products from Perdue Farms -- will be leaving June 20.

McAuliffe, who was joined by Carlos Ayala, Perdue Foods international vice president, and Todd Haymore, Virginia secretary of agriculture and forestry, saw the poultry products being loaded at a Perdue cold storage facility in Norfolk. The shipment is expected to arrive in Shenzhen, China on August 3.

Perdue, Virginia anticipate uptick in poultry exports

Perdue expects that with the lifting of the ban, the company will increase its volumes shipped from Virginia to increase by about 35 percent, according to a press release issued by McAuliffe’s office.

Advertisement

Haymore believes the end to the Virginia poultry ban, which was implemented after a low pathogenic form of avian influenza was detected at a single Virginia turkey farm, will also greatly increase Virginia’s total poultry export numbers.

“We estimate conservatively that Virginia will see at least $20 million in poultry exports to China during the first full year the market is open, but we’re hoping to far exceed that number,” said Haymore. “We have great assets that will allow us to accomplish that goal including Virginia’s existing business with China, the governor’s commitment to expanding that business, our agricultural trade representative in Shanghai working to generate new sales leads and an aggressive poultry industry producing high-quality and wholesome products. I am confident that we have the infrastructure in place to quickly re-establish Virginia as one of China’s top poultry purchasers.”

Other Virginia industries to benefit from ban's end

McAuliffe added that the end to the ban will not only help the Virginia poultry trade, but also other industries within the commonwealth.

“The resumption of business means more trade and revenue generation opportunities for Virginia’s poultry industry and the many related businesses that work to move products from our family farms into the global marketplace. This will also bring significant benefits to the Port of Virginia, an entity that I want to become the East Coast capital for agricultural and forestry product exports,” he said.