Round Table on Opportunities to Shape the Future of Poultry

Once a year in January the Dutch poultry industry meets in Atlanta, Georgia for the International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE). This year the show took place virtually. The Netherlands Embassy, the Consulate General in Atlanta and the Rabobank used this opportunity to organize a Poultry Round Table with the Dutch participants at the IPPE.

Identifying opportunities in the US

The purpose was to discuss the current challenges in the US poultry sector and identify new opportunities for Dutch knowledge and technology in the US, as well as opportunities for collaboration with US stakeholders.

During the roundtable the Rabobank presented their Outlook for the US Poultry Sector and discussed several issues that according to their view will be important drivers for the future development of the US poultry industry. In addition, two Dutch companies told about their experiences in the US and gave their perspectives on the future of the US Poultry Sector.

Future of poultry
©Rabobank

Developments in the Poultry Sector

COVID19 had a major impact on the poultry sector. The pandemic let to channel shifting from the foodservice sector, which was hit hard, to the retail sector. The poultry sector lost large sales and had to quickly adjust to pivot between channels – foodservice vs. retail. Also the supply chain saw major disruptions as labor quickly became a big problem for many companies due to outbreaks in slaughter facilities, but also supply inputs (such as feed and additives, animal health products, and genetics) were impacted. The early recovery saw its own challenges with high feed prices, the economic crisis, consumption going down, protectionist trade measures and currency fluctuations. All these developments have led to a changing view on the food supply, a tighter regulatory environment and an increased focus on transparency.

It became clear that there are not only challenges but also there is also much –new- opportunity for growth in the US poultry sector. Companies are looking at new investments in labor and automation, data gathering to improve efficiency and save cost throughout the supply chain, new products and new packaging to make it easier to move between sales channels, to reduce the number of SKUs, new (e-commerce) delivery systems and last but certainly not least the next steps companies are looking to take related to sustainability, animal health and animal welfare. 

Next Steps

The Consulate General and the Netherlands Embassy are very interested to continue the conversation and look at next steps. If you would like to learn more, or to see a recording of the session, please contact the LNV office in Washington, DC.