U.K. poultry producers are feeling a little less confident about the future, according the results of a recent survey.

The latest survey conducted by industry association British Poultry Council (BPC) reveals that the U.K.’s poultry industry’s confidence has been knocked by a decline in exports. 15.4 percent or respondents said that they felt slightly less confident than six months ago about the future of the poultry meat industry, and 23 percent felt similarly about the individual business they worked in. Six months ago, no respondents felt less confident.

Forty-six percent of respondents noted that they had seen an increase in sales to retail customers over the last six months, but 23 percent had recorded a decline in sales to traders, which are normally destined for export.

For around half of respondents, the volume of production and imports for processing saw no change.


A little over one third of respondents also reported a slight decrease in the availability of skilled labor.

Looking ahead, however, 62 percent of respondents believe they will see a slight increase in sales to retailers and 38 percent to food service customers over the next six months. But against this needs to be weighed the trade impact of the U.K. outbreaks of avian influenza, and sales over the next six months to exporting traders are expected to decline, according to 23 percent of the industry, while 30 percent  believe that they will see no change.

Poultry industry concerns

The survey also asked respondents to rank BPC policy areas.

The most important was reductions in the presence of Campylobacter, followed by enhancing the industry’s reputation and raising awareness of its contribution to the economy, minimizing the impact of legislation, supporting trade and working on changes the European Union meat inspection regime.