In order to feed the growing population, the poultry industry is working to improve in several areas: genetics, feed conversion rate, meat quality, production rate, processing efficiency, etc. However, are we actually focusing on the right topics?

Sustainable is a major buzzword in the industry, and simply speaking ‘sustainable’ means to be able to maintain at a certain rate or level. But is maintaining the industry enough when the population/demand is increasing and agricultural land/resources are diminishing? Another popular word is efficiency, how can we produce more protein with less input? And with the new welfare movements, is achieving top efficiency possible while also being humane?

A less common topic is the estimated 28% of production potential lost in the chain from breeder to processor. This failure to meet maximum biological capacity is a huge waste in the industry and should be of serious consideration for poultry producers, especially fully integrated operations.

With the challenges we are facing today, and are projected to face tomorrow, is there something the industry is overlooking? Is it possible to break out of the media trends and evaluate how we can improve the industry with facts? What aspects, from the top down, should the industry be considering to ensure we support both healthy people and a healthy planet?

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Jan Vervloesem
Category manager poultry