Poland has become a European powerhouse in the poultry sector over the past few years. Poultry consumption in Poland is growing, boosted by promotional efforts, as are exports.
The poultry industry is one of the fastest growing segments of Poland’s agri-food sector, with average annual growth at 7 percent in the last six years.
Poultry production in Poland is growing because consumption of this kind of meat is rising on the domestic market. Poultry is still cheaper than other kinds of meat in Poland, which has resulted in increased consumption and production.
According to the Warsaw-based Institute of Agricultural and Food Economics (IAFE), the average Pole eats approximately 27 kilograms of poultry annually, about 5 kg more than 10 years ago. This marks a substantial increase, especially as consumption of other types of meat has dropped: consumption of beef plummeted from about 5 kg in 2004 to 1.5 kg in 2013, and consumption of pork fell from about 39 kg in 2004 to 36.5 kg in 2013.
A turning point for the Polish poultry market was when the country joined the European Union in 2004. The opening of new markets for Polish producers, accompanied by investment in the modernization of domestic poultry plants, has given a rapid boost to the position of the Polish poultry industry. Production increased from 800,000 tons in 2004 to 1.8 million tons last year.
Exports contribute to the development of the poultry industry. Polish poultry is shipped mainly to other European Union countries. The biggest customers are Germany, the Czech Republic, Britain, France and Slovakia, which put together account for more than half of Poland’s total poultry exports, or more than 300,000 tons. Among non-EU buyers of Polish poultry two markets dominate: China and Benin. Countries such as Ukraine, Russia and the Republic of Congo are also increasingly prominent among Polish poultry buyers.
The Polish poultry sector has demonstrated that it can grow even during a crisis period. At the same time, the sector is competitive in terms of price, as a result of which Poland is grabbing a steadily growing share of the EU market. According to forecasts by the European Commission, poultry consumption in the EU will grow at an average rate of 0.9 percent a year until the end of the decade.
Campaigns designed to promote poultry meat have also played a role in the development of the Polish poultry market. Examples include the “Poultry Treats for Every Palate” campaign, which aims to encourage the consumption of poultry meat products; and the “With Chicken over the Centuries” campaign. These projects were financed by the Fund for the Promotion of Poultry Meat. The fund, endowed with payments from poultry meat producers, has an annual budget of more than zl.7 million.
Efforts to promote poultry meat have also been undertaken by the National Poultry Council, an organization that helped launch the Quality Assurance for Food Products (QAFP) program in the poultry sector. The aim of the program is to bring new quality to the production of poultry meat. High standards are ensured at every stage of production, from the selection of the best hatchlings, through their natural breeding without the use of antibiotics, hormones and growth promoters, to attractive display in the stores.
After an initiative by the Association of Meat Industry Producers and Employers, in January 2011 the “Culinary meat from chicken and turkey breast as well as goose meat and parts of young Polish goose” Quality Assurance for Food Products (QAFP) system gained the status of a national food quality system, following a decision by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The introduction of the QAFP system was a good opportunity to dispel many myths about how poultry is produced. This purpose was served by an information campaign called “New quality in the poultry industry.” This campaign was also conducted abroad. Last year in Cologne, the largest city of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, two major events were held to promote Polish goose meat produced under the QAFP quality system.
Another example of efforts to promote poultry was a festival organized by the National Federation of Poultry Breeders and Egg Producers in May during the “Spring of Flowers” International Horticultural Exhibition in Łosiów, Opole province. The festival was part of the “Chicken at home and school, and not only in broth”) project financed wholly by the Fund for the Promotion of Poultry Meat. Visitors to the stand of the National Federation of Poultry Breeders and Egg Producers could enjoy delicious chicken dishes and meet with a nutrition expert to learn more about the benefits of poultry meat.
Meanwhile, the Fund for the Promotion of Meat recently financed culinary workshops for journalists and bloggers in Warsaw. The workshops, held under the auspices of the Polish Meat Association, aimed to raise awareness of the benefits of poultry meat in the media.
Under the watchful eye of chef Andrzej Polan, who has appeared in various television programs, the journalists learned how to cook a turkey burger with hummus and green vegetables, and they also tried their hand at other dishes including “chicken in butter with luscious mango, green cucumber and mint,” “soft duck legs with a watermelon and avocado salad,” goose liver pate and “Polish curry from a whole chicken with apricots.”
Source: The Warsaw Voice