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Scotland’s Egg and Poultry Producers Well Placed as Nation Prepares to Reset, Restart and Recover

As Scotland enters the first phase in easing lockdown restrictions, egg and poultry producers are beginning to reset, restart and recover from a very healthy position.

The Union has recognised that resetting and restarting food production, processing and distribution as we emerge from the Covid-19 crisis will provide significant opportunities for Scottish agriculture.  All NFU Scotland’s commodity committees and working groups – combinable crops, livestock, milk, pigs, poultry and specialist crops – have identified key steps and actions needed to secure a profitable and sustainable agricultural industry.

For those producing eggs and poultry, the priorities are the following: 

  • Ensuring haulage for eggs, poultry and packaging is prioritised.
  • Continued retailer support considering the collapse in catering market for eggs and poultry meat.
  • Fairer retailer supply chains to support Scottish and UK production longer term.
  • Retailers to reconsider cage-free pledges.
  • Government assistance should management of the market for class B and small eggs be required (transport, breaking, storage).
  • Grant support for investment in egg and poultry farms that improve welfare and efficiency through the likes of automation or building improvements.


Poultry Working Group Chairman Robert Thomson said: “Scotland’s egg and poultry producers have come through the crisis relatively unscathed and are well placed to enter the reset, restart and recovery phase, playing a very positive part in the nation’s response.

“When Covid-19 saw lockdown introduced, the egg and poultry industries both had concerns that the closure of the hospitality and catering sectors would have a huge impact but, thankfully, those fears proved largely to be unfounded.

“We are coming through lockdown with egg sales up by more than 30 percent and a significant shortage of supplies at all levels, including supermarkets.  Independent egg producers have also risen to challenge and butchers’ shops, corner stores and farm shops have been kept supplied.

“That boost in egg sales simply highlights that eggs are great value, are a natural and nutritious food, full of protein and very versatile.

“The chicken market also geared up in response to Covid-19, with plentiful supplies of fresh chicken and poultry meat.  That is a success story and we hope that the Scottish public will continue to seek out Scottish chicken post lockdown.

“Poultry producers’ biggest concern is imports start coming in again and undercutting the good value of Scottish chicken, which has been produced to highest standards.

“For both eggs and poultry, we hope supermarkets take a fresh look at their supply chains post-Covid and incorporate more local supplies.”

Notes to Editors

  • NFU Scotland sees the role of all farmers and crofters as central to Scotland’s Covid-19 recovery process given the range of economic, environmental and social benefits they can deliver.  NFU Scotland believes Scottish agriculture should:
    • produce the high-quality food and drink that its customers want.
    • embrace change and seek new market opportunities.
    • lead in the delivery of climate ambitions and a flourishing environment.
    • drive sustainable rural development, helping rural communities thrive and prosper.
    • contribute to key objectives on animal health and welfare and promote human health and well-being.
  • NFU Scotland has initiated reset, restart and recovery plans for different sectors of Scottish agriculture. The sectors covered are livestock, milk, pigs, poultry, specialist crops and combinable crops.   
  • A short video of Poultry Working Group Chairman Robert Thomson discussing the group’s priorities is available to watch on the Union’s Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/pg/nfuscotland/videos/

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Author: Bob Carruth

Date Published:

News Article No.: 72/20


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