Bell Food Group, Switzerland’s largest poultry company, said demand for organic poultry products, particularly in Austria and Germany, is on the rise.

In its 2021 annual report, Bell Food Group, which has a fully-integrated broiler operation in both Switzerland and Austria, said its international division, which includes its Austrian operations, increased sales of organic poultry products to 17% in 2021.

Bell Food Group’s Hubers Landhendl brand is the market leader in Austria, while Bell is a leading provider in Switzerland.

“The market for poultry products in Austria and Germany has developed well. Products with sustainable added value achieved above-average growth. Generally speaking, topics such as animal welfare and sustainable meat production have become more relevant. This applies in particular to Germany, where large retailers are increasingly using animal welfare as a sales argument. The Bell Food Group laid a good foundation with its strategic positioning as the biggest producer of organic poultry in Europe. The already high share of products with sustainable added value was able to be expanded substantially in the reporting year,” the company stated in its report.

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While that growth shows an opportunity for Bell Food Group, there are also challenges being faced in this category.

“With regard to costs, the situation was challenging in the reporting year. A sharp increase in the prices of the raw materials needed for feed, sometimes more than 50 percent, led to higher raw material prices. Our consistent demand for GMO-free feed may limit our feed sources, but it underlines our commitment to regional agriculture. The costs of energy, packaging and consumables also rose sharply, partly because of coronavirus-related problems in product availability,” the company stated.

In addition to its broiler operations in Switzerland and Austria, Bell Food Group has turkey operations in Germany, which produce the Süddeutsche Truthahn line. Turkeys are slaughtered and cut at the Ampfing facility in Germany.