New technologies – like automation, meat alternatives and machine learning – have the potential to transform the future poultry supply chain.

As part of the Virtual Poultry Tech Summit 2020, a panel of poultry experts discussed how emerging macroeconomic and consumer trends will impact the poultry industry’s future technology needs. The discussion, which took place on October 21, 2020, was moderated by Terrence O’Keefe, content director for WATT Global Media, and featured the following panelists:

  • Paul Aho, Ph.D., president, Poultry Perspective
  • Paul Cuatrecasas, CEO and founder, Aquaa Partners
  • Richard Kottmeyer, managing director, FTI Consulting

Transformation – not innovation

The landscape for poultry production has drastically changed in recent years, Cuatrecasas said. This means that poultry companies need to be thinking bigger than innovation.

“The best way to transform is through external catalysts – investing in companies that are driven by entrepreneurs who believe that they are changing the world. They bring in excitement and passion and can lift the spirits up of the entire company,” he said.

“Ultimately, this new world is not about the number of farms we have, the number of chickens we have or farmers, factories or distribution centers. It’s not about that. It’s about intellectual property. It’s about technologies that ultimately can be licensed throughout the world.”

In the future, every brand will be an internet brand

Aho urged poultry companies to begin thinking of themselves as internet companies in order to succeed in the future.

Some poultry companies have already started embracing direct-to-consumer sales as a way to reach shoppers directly, but it’s more than that. For example, automated inventory can help poultry companies know when customer shelves are becoming empty. The internet also offers new ways to reach consumers, “ways we can’t even imagine now,” Aho said.

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Evolution versus revolution

Technology startups are typically invested in developing revolutionary solutions to poultry challenges, but it’s important to evaluate ideas closely.

“You need to be very careful about evolutions versus revolution. Clearly, we’re in a revolutionary cycle, but it is very easy to pick the wrong revolution,” Kottmeyer explained.\

 It’s very easy to look at something and think this is it, only to find that consumers don’t agree.

“There will be many companies that shoot for the moon and come crashing back to the ground in technology. There always have been. You need a combination of evolution and some investment in revolution, but you can’t tip the scale too far in either direction,” cautioned Kottmeyer.

Attend the 2021 Poultry Tech Summit

Join an exclusive international gathering of industry-changing innovators, researchers, entrepreneurs, technology experts, investors and leading poultry producers at the 2021 edition of Poultry Tech Summit on October 31 - November 2 in Atlanta, Georgia. Attendees can expect the same groundbreaking innovation and insightful presentations that made the previous events well-attended with deep dialogue on new prospective solutions and developing technologies.

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