Long-term strategy for poultry sector is imperative

29 December 2023

James Mottershead

James Mottershead

NFU Poultry Board chair

James Mottershead in his broiler shed

In his New Year message, NFU Poultry Board chair James Mottershead reflects on the continued determination and dedication of poultry producers amid a myriad of challenges and the need for a longer-term strategy while balancing issues in the here and now.

The past year has provided a plethora of challenges for the sector.

Global events have caused serious economic impacts, unprecedented outbreaks of AI have resulted in severe turmoil in an otherwise resilient sector and significantly higher input costs have seen some poultry businesses come out of production altogether. That’s to name just a few.

Raising poultry’s profile

As always, I am proud of the dedication, grit, and determination of poultry producers who day-in and day-out work extremely hard to produce the nation's favourite protein sources.

During my tenure as board chair, I have tried to ensure that the interests of the poultry sector are at the heart of policy making and I’m pleased to say that our stakeholder engagement has been front and centre of the work undertaken over the last twelve months to raise the profile of both poultry meat and eggs.

This will continue in the new year.

“This is where the NFU comes into its own: dealing with today, tomorrow, and beyond with a progressive vision for the future.”

NFU Poultry Board chair James Mottershead

Dealing with today, tomorrow, and beyond

While my focus has been on navigating the here and now, there is always one eye on the future. Having a longer-term strategy for the sector is imperative. However I appreciate that it’s difficult to prioritise this when it feels like you are constantly being hit by challenge after challenge.

This is where the NFU comes into its own: dealing with today, tomorrow, and beyond with a progressive vision for the future.

With an ongoing cost-of-living crisis, consumers are looking for affordable and versatile ingredients to make wholesome meals. With poultry meat and eggs, they needn’t look any further.

We will be redefining our board priorities in early 2024 when the board is up for election. There is no doubt that key work areas such as access to labour, business resilience and fairness in the supply chain will remain front and centre of what we do, and I am ready to keep tackling these challenges and seize upon opportunities as they arise to ensure that we all have a fair and functioning supply chain.

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