Despite the international crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the poultry industry could see some opportunities. Those include:

1. Turn to virtuality

The need to limit physical interaction as much as possible, meetings and even the crowds of our internal and external events presents us with the challenge of really reinforcing the virtual tools of communication, promotion and sale. The issue goes beyond technological support; they are the people with specific responsibilities. Needed are adequate response times and innovation in the use of tools.

2. Alternative channels

Home delivery service in the distribution of chicken meat and eggs for the final buyers — which was being implemented in an incipient way within the poultry companies — now has the key moment to prove its worth and grow. The old fixed telephone lines must be recovered to reduce pressure on the virtual network.

3. Telecommuting

Many organizations, including some poultry businesses, are reluctant to implement alternative mechanisms such as telecommuting (working remotely) in some of their processes. The demands of the current contingency will give each company many future inputs in this regard.

4. Time to promote poultry products

Panic buying reinforces the great positioning of eggs and chicken in consumer minds as staples, even as ingredients for recipes that seek to boost the immune system (which is true). In supermarkets, both would disappear in minutes, with some cuts being picked up faster than others (for example, chicken breasts, which are included in many recipes and have been for a long time).

Advertisement

It is also time to put egg products back into the consumer’s mind. 

5. Corporate solidarity

It does not hurt to devise some relief and special service options for the HoReCa channel that, as part of the tourism and services sector, is having a very bad time and is one of the industry's best clients. But, in addition to that, it is worth noting that we can contribute with our experience in biosecurity. Some poultry farmers in Spain have understood this and have made their technical staff and equipment available to the health authorities at no cost for tasks such as spraying agents or specific cleaning of public areas, if applicable. 

6. More formalization and associativity

Finally, this grave crisis demands that we unite more than ever as an industry in each country and reinforce the need to formalize agribusiness increasingly. One of the ideal conjunctures for this is in the announced general reliefs that each government is devising to avoid an economic debacle and the protection of employment. Preference criteria for the organized and compliant entrepreneur must be requested from the authorities, as well as the channelling of aid with the assistance of the already constituted associations.

View our continuing coverage of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic