The Government’s new focus on agricultural and rural affairs in the light of Brexit could be good news for farmers considering opportunities in the egg and broiler sectors.
Farmers across the board will be cheered by Environment Secretary Michael Gove’s promise this month of government support until 2024 to ease the transition from the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy to a new national scheme.
He also pledged that farmers would benefit from greater Government focus on food security and environmentally friendly farming, all good news for the poultry industry.
Leaving the EU will affect farming sectors to different extents. Despite being largely unsupported by EU subsidy, the egg and poultry sectors have been a success story in recent years, enjoying steady growth in UK and export markets:
- Broiler chick placings in 2017 were 6% up on the previous year.
- Layer chick placings saw a 9% increase over a similar period.
- In 2016, British hens produced 10,372 million of the 12,000 million eggs consumed in this country.
If Mr Gove’s vision comes to pass, poultry farmers could gain from a new national rural payment scheme rewarding environmental activities that promote wildlife and biodiversity, such as woodland planting, instead of benefiting largescale landowners.
His promise to invest in rural technology and skills should also benefit a wider range of farmers, including those in the poultry sector.
A new focus on food security may also help chicken and egg farmers. Environmental and welfare standards in the UK have been transformed massively over the past 30 years and the UK enjoys an enviable reputation worldwide. When it comes to eggs and poultry meat, people feel confident now about buying British.
The full effects of Brexit on British farming are difficult to predict, but if you are considering diversifying your farming activity, then the poultry sector is in a good position to take advantage of the coming changes.
Humphrey Feed and Pullets has been supporting independent poultry farmers to optimise flock performance, welfare and profit since 1932. We are always happy to advise how we can help you to make the most of new opportunities.
If you have any questions relating to free range egg production, or anything related to it, please get in touch here or call us on 01962 764555.