The pig and poultry sectors have invested millions of pounds into new higher welfare systems but it is essential that these farmers can run their businesses at a profit, NFU President Peter Kendall will tell the industry tomorrow (Wednesday).
Mr Kendall will outline a number of challenges for the two sectors, including a need for science-based animal welfare standards, on top of falling profit margins; a requirement for welfare organisations to recognise the large strides farmers have made; and the need to produce pig, poultry meat and eggs, to meet a range of consumer demands.
Speaking before the event, which will be held at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire, Mr Kendall said: â€œBoth the pig and poultry sectors have invested heavily in meeting new European welfare standards but the challenges do not end there.
â€œIt is vital that the industry can meet productivity demands â€“ our ambition is to put more British products on British dinner plates – while meeting strict standards for animal welfare. Pig and poultry farmers care for their livestock and their health and welfare has a direct effect on farm profitability. There is no room for poor results as margins are small.
â€œAt the same time, the industry and the food supply chain need to educate consumers on the welfare standards already in place. Farmers can, and do, produce food to suit a number of purse-strings and, in all cases, welfare is a key priority.
â€œBut there are a number of other challenges as well, not to mention climate change, food consumption changes and the need to improve on-farm incomes and encourage investment. The bottom line is that we need to ensure that we have profitable and long-term futures for both the pig and poultry industries in this country which can meet the increasing demand for British products.â€