The Executive Committee of the International Poultry Council (IPC) will meet in January to consider how the organization will implement recommendations from a far-reaching strategic plan that came out of an intensive two-day summit in September.

At that summit in Edinburgh, Scotland, several IPC members huddled with the Executive Committee and a strategic planning expert to exchange ideas on charting a course for the organization as it prepares to enter its second decade.

“The Executive Committee made the decision to take a step back and evaluate where the IPC is currently, to look at how far we’ve come, and to determine how we should proceed into the next 10 years,” IPC President Jim Sumner, who is also president of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, said of the Edinburgh summit.

Sumner said that the IPC is the only organization that represents a large majority of the global poultry industry on international issues. “The IPC is in a unique position to be a strong force, not just as the credible, unified voice of the industry, but also to be the primary platform for industry issues and information of interest to the international value chain and to regulators,” he said. “We see the organization as positioned to grow in influence and in membership, but we recognize that growth will require that we reposition and restructure.”

Mark Smith of Leadership Resource Institute, who coordinated the summit, recently delivered a framework “roadmap” document to the IPC based on member surveys, interviews, and discussions with members in Edinburgh.

Recommendations and findings include:


  • To continue its development and to serve a growing membership base, the IPC must increase its staffing to the equivalent of at least 1.5 and 2.5 full-time positions.
  • The IPC is uniquely positioned to be a powerful organization for the global poultry meat industry, and can be a platform for global access by being the single credible voice for the industry.
  • The IPC can work toward developing common policies to promote growth in the global poultry sector “and provide a unified international industry voice for rules and regulations that impact the industry…and to help position poultry as the preferred (meat) protein in the world.”
  • Over the next five years, the IPC must develop and focus on priorities, such as improving consumer confidence in poultry, heighten awareness of the concept of sustainability, improve food safety, and provide unbiased information on trade.
  • To achieve this, the IPC must enhance communication among its members, increase its strength by recruiting additional members, promote cooperation and interaction with international bodies, influence international standard-setting organizations, utilize working groups to enhance member participation, and embrace criticism of the global industry.

The roadmap also stresses that the IPC remain within its appropriate role as an organization, and that it keep focused on what it can uniquely do in support of its members.

Based on the recommendations voiced in Edinburgh, the strategic plan recommends that the IPC expand its Executive Committee by two seats to be reserved for associate members. These new members would be elected by associate members and would broaden representation to include all segments of the supply chain.

Poultry industry association representatives in 24 countries are members of the IPC, which was formed in 2005 as a cooperative forum for the world’s poultry-producing countries. The growing organization also boasts 34 associate members that include producers, primary breeders, pharmaceutical companies, equipment manufacturers, and global restaurant chains that benefit from a strong international poultry industry.

The IPC represents about 80 percent of the world’s poultry production, and about 95 percent of global trade in poultry meat.