Poultrymeat producers across Europe are struggling to maintain production levels because of soaring energy and feed costs, according to European trade association AVEC.

The sector has called on governments to prioritise food production and offer support to keep food affordable for consumers.

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Farmers and the integrated supply chain in the UK are also facing similar challenges as the cost of production soars.

Outgoing AVEC president Paul Lopez told the organisation’s general assembly earlier in September that members were reporting that, without support, many poultry farmers could pause production.

“Poultrymeat producers are affected all along the supply chain, by unprecedented increases in costs of energy, (especially natural gas, fuel, and electricity), CO2, packaging and external labour which threaten the continuity of the production,” he said.

Energy supply

“Energy and gas supply especially is critical for primary breeding of poultry to maintain the welfare of the birds.

“The Russian invasion of Ukraine has also resulted in a substantially raise of the feed prices, which represent 70 % of the production cost of poultry.

“This has led to a situation where farmers may prefer to stop the production in the coming weeks rather than taking the risk of big financial losses.

“There are huge difficulties to pass the additional costs through the supply chain, so the support of the authorities is urgently needed.”

“Sustainable production is our priority, and we see our sector as part of the solution when it comes to climate change.

“Therefore, we ask the authorities to strongly support our sector to develop and accelerate the transition towards sustainable sources of energy, to limit the dependence to foreign fossil fuel and feed suppliers, and increase the resilience of the sector.”