If you need reassurance that poultry is the right segment of animal production to be working in, then a report from the European Union would appear to offer just that – at least for the next decade.
The European Commission in its EU Agricultural Outlook 2020-2030 notes that poultry production in the bloc is expected to be the only meat category to grow between 2020 and 2030.
Additionally, the Commission notes, poultry is the only sector to have expanded in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, even without increased exports.
Due to chicken’s health profile, European consumers have been buying more of it for years, the commission says. However, what 2020 brought into focus was the meat’s affordability and convenience, making it the ideal choice for those consumers – pretty much most of us – living under lockdown measures imposed to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Importantly, Europeans don’t look to be abandoning their taste for chicken any time soon, with per capita consumption forecast to increase by 1.2 kg to the decade’s end, reaching 24.6 kg.
The Commission also believes that the coming years will see Europe exporting more chicken meat, particularly to key markets, displacing demand for scarcer and more expensive pig meat. The future of exports for the EU’s producers is not entirely rosy, however, with weaker demand forecast from Ukraine and China, and uncertainty continuing to hamper the global economic recovery.
And while exports may be set to continue growing, the EU’s share of global exports is expected to fall over the decade from 16.2% in 2020 to 15% in 2030. This decline the Commission attributes to greater competition from Brazil – further evidence of the poultry industry being the place to be this decade.