Chile is not a superpower in terms of numbers in poultry production. According to our data, it ranked sixth in Latin America in 2020 with 301.6 million broilers and 18.3 million layers. In turkey production, it is the second producer in the region, with a little above 6 million birds. The average Chilean consumes 32.2 kilograms of chicken, just above the Latin American average, and 236 eggs, at 85% of the region’s average.

But there is something that Chile does excel in poultry: it is one of the few Latin American countries that exports poultry products; the quality of their products is one of the best, and their animal health control and surveillance is first class. 

Having this information as an introduction, I would like to turn to the recently elected new government in Chile. Gabriel Boric, president-elect, is a young man, and can be considered a millennial. My impression is that he has a different view compared to older persons in office. 

His government program proposal mentions little about the animal production industry. It is more focused to fisheries and forestry, two key areas for the country. Another important fact is that he will put emphasis on “research and innovation and will strengthen technological assistance and transfer between the State and the private sector.” The role of the country research centers will also be strengthened because there is interest in improving productivity, sustainability of natural resources (including water) and the environment.

Terms like food security, food sovereignty, circular economy, climate emergency and even ancient seeds are mentioned. The other important term that has an impact on animal production is animal welfare. Let us remember that Chile has been in the forefront of animal welfare issues in Latin America, including the Chilean Animal Welfare Association, made of professionals of the animal ag industry. Boric’s government is proposing to have a pilot program of animal production under sustainable, enclosure-free (cages, pens) and good animal welfare conditions systems. Emphasis on food traceability will also be given.

Although nothing specific on poultry is cited, some of the above-mentioned aspects will have an impact on producing broilers, layers and turkeys in this country. His inauguration is in March, so let us see how things evolve.

What do you think? (Merry Christmas to all!)