Chicken is loved all over the world

Chicken is the world’s most popular meat, and will account for nearly 30% of the growth in global meat consumption over the next three years.

These are some of the statistics brought back from the recent meeting of the International Poultry Council (IPC) by Izaak Breitenbach of the SA Poultry Association (SAPA).

The IPC meeting in Argentina looked at various factors affecting poultry industry now and into the future. Breitenbach said the big themes related to bird flu, global poultry economics, the importance of Halal markets and sustainability.

He reported that the presentations at the meeting included one on the development of small-scale farmers that was relevant to SAPA’s work in the same area in South Africa.

He said that chicken and pork were the two most popular meats globally, but chicken held the lead and would continue to do so, even though the growth in protein consumption is expected to slow down. The reasons identified at the conference for chicken’s popularity included health considerations, price and cultural trends.

Another factor is that poultry production has a much lower carbon footprint than other meats.

The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) estimated that poultry consumption (total global and per capita) will increase at a faster pace vs other meat. Fish will continue as the most consumed animal protein in the world.

Poultry consumption growth will be concentrated in China, the United States, Southeast Asia and India.

A growing market for Halal poultry

The IPC conference also heard a presentation on the huge and growing market for the Halal poultry required by Muslim communities.

Breitenbach said that, while South Africa concentrated only on the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, there were 57 countries with large Muslim populations, with Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Iran being large importers of Halal poultry. There were also significant Muslim populations in China, France, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom.

Brazil is a leading exporter of Halal poultry and Breitenbach said South Africa could learn a lot from the relationship Brazil has with the Halal market.

He noted that Brazil had fostered relations with Arab countries for 70 years, becoming a member of the Union of Arab Chambers and recognised by the Arab League.