News and analysis on the global poultry
and animal feed industries.
on May 12, 2011

Performance and opportunity in the poultry industry

This edition of Poultry International brings you an update of our Top Company’s survey.

As we were about to finish the issue, the news emerged that New Zealand’s largest poultry producer, Tegel Foods, could be up for sale. Currently owned by a private equity group, by the time we come to publish next year’s edition, the name could have disappeared forever. Survey results can quickly go out of date, but we hope that we have brought data that will be of value until the next update.

In this year’s edition, there are new entries, while other household names have disappeared. Like any other industry, the poultry industry has its fair share of mergers and acquisitions and this is set to continue.

Given the importance of the poultry market, it is little surprise that beyond the everyday pressures of running a business, there are numerous other factors that impact those companies that operate in it.

The trade dispute between the US and Russia rumbles on and, while it continues, producers on one side will be rubbing their hands, while there will hand wringing on the other. The final outcome of the trade dispute between China and the US is, no doubt, being looked forward to with anxiety on both sides.

In Zimbabwe, poultry producers are concerned by the government’s decision to lift restrictions on a variety of agricultural imports, while in South Africa, the outlook for producers seems to be far more positive, with demand forecast to continue strongly upwards for at least the next four years.

In Europe, the outlook is positive, but increasing regulation continues to be a problem.

Yet despite uncertainties, the overall outlook for poultry production remains strong. In much of the developing world, poultry meat is increasingly affordable, while in more advanced economies that are yet to fully recover from the economic downturn, consumers have turned away from more expensive sources of protein to more affordable poultry meat.

Yet while the outlook looks positive, we all now operate in a much more interconnected world, where what happens in one country can have a much more direct bearing than it would have done 30 or 40 years ago.

Producers need to be responsive to consumer demand, efficient, and able to react quickly to events that may occur many, many miles from home.

Food safety issues are good case in point and, when a problem emerges, most importantly it needs to be dealt with quickly. But consumers still need to eat, and for any company that is quick enough to respond, they will be able to achieve the double benefit of satisfying consumer demand, but also possibly gaining market share and, importantly, trust.

So the poultry market remains a market of opportunities and, across the following pages, we bring you a selection of some the companies that have responded to opportunity particularly well.

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