After three years of overcoming the various crises affecting society as a whole, today, International Poultry Day, the sector is once again threatened by the implementation of regulations that would condition its competitiveness and decimate consumer choice.
Madrid, May 10, 2023. On the occasion of the meeting of its Board of Directors, AVIANZA, the majority association of the Spanish poultry meat sector, which brings together more than 65 associated companies, 5,000 farms and represents more than 90% of the companies linked to the chicken, turkey and quail meat sector, has decided to launch a joint statement to express its absolute concern at what it considers a new attack against one of the key sectors for the self-sufficiency and food diversity of our country.
- "Today, May 10, marks World Poultry Day World Poultry DayBut we believe that there is little to celebrate, because despite being one of the strategic sectors of Spanish meat production, we are once again in the spotlight of possible regulations that would have dire consequences for consumers, both in Spain and in Europe as a whole.
- One of the most recent threats comes from the European Commission itself, through the published recommendations of the EFSA (European Food Safety Agency) opinion. We believe that this study has not been transparent and is based on questionable scientific opinions, as well as lacking a comprehensive vision of the three pillars of sustainability: social, environmental and economic. We strongly recommend listening to the arguments put forward by AVEC / ELPHA / EPB and The Poultry Veterinary Study Group.
- Its implementation would mean wiping out 70% of poultry meat production in Europe, causing a rise in costs (up to 3 times higher), the consequent repercussions along the entire value chain and pressure on a steadily rising CPI.
- Once again, we would have a damaged population, with consumers who would see how affordable access to one of the main sources of quality proteins becomes more expensive, and for whom the supply of types of poultry to choose from would be reduced. We recall that Spain has a fifth of its population at risk of poverty according to the OECD, so making access to a basic shopping basket even more difficult for a vulnerable population is clearly unfair. Legislating cannot mean continuing to eliminate essential European productive sectors.
- This measure is clearly ineffective, as it would reduce the competitiveness of our companies to the detriment of markets outside the EU where quality standards are infinitely far from those of our country.
- Something that we are also seeing in other European markets with the adoption by the distribution channel of the ECC initiative (confusingly called the European Chicken Commitment), promoted by animal and vegan organizations. In this sense, it is necessary to call things by their name, since the ECC aims to eradicate the production of poultry meat in intensive farming systems by 2026.
- An attack against the freedom of consumers to choose the type of product to consume, under supposed principles of animal welfare and control of production by their own organizations, clearly unnecessary, since practically 100% of the poultry meat production sold to the Retailer by our Spanish companies is already certified by Welfare Quality, an independent entity managed by IRTA, among others.
- Finally, it is worth remembering that there are many strengths that have made the poultry meat sector a European benchmark in modernization of facilities, professionalization of its workforce and boosting internationalization, never before addressed. For all these reasons, we call for an in-depth, unbiased, transparent analysis, open to the opinion of consumers, in order to decide what type of poultry meat we want to promote and protect today and in the future.