Alimarket Report September 2020: Poultry sector boosts digitalisation

Due to the pandemic effects of COVID19, the meat sector is undergoing important changes. One of these has been the strong move towards digitalisation, which is combined with our sector's own commitments, such as Sustainability and Animal Welfare, as well as the crucial process of Internationalisation.

In this Alimarket report, in which Propollo has participated by contributing our vision and experiences, the "state of the art" of the meat sector in Spain, including the poultry industry, is analysed. These are the main conclusions:

  • The "plant-based" has burst onto the scene in the sector, according to the president of ANICE, "digital and technological tools have become essential for the meat industry...". These statements are accompanied by a "Digitalisation Plan" to inform members of the possibilities offered by technology and digital tools to member companies.
  • Digitalisation in the meat sector is still limited. It will undoubtedly have an impact on the structure of the company itself and its relationship with the customer, as well as an improvement in production, product adaptation, greater safety of its products and workers; and, of course, in communication with customers and attracting new ones.
Source: MAP

The increase in digitalisation has been confirmed by Provacuno, another of the interprofessional organisations participating in the report. According to its leaders, there have been increases in online sales platforms, in parallel to the feared decline in consumption by the HORECA sector during this pandemic, and increased interest in exporting.

"The poultry sector has been investing heavily in modernising facilities, accessing new sources of renewable energy, applying circular economies and waste management," Jordi Montfort, Propollo Secretary General.


As the report explains, the meat sector, through ANAFRIC and Provacuno, in a movement that Propollo also supports, has requested aid for private storage, the opening of public intervention purchases and direct aid to the producer sector, especially to feedlots and, in our case, poultry farms.

In foreign trade, the COVID has had a considerable influence. International trade fairs have been all but suppressed, as well as travel and people gathering. Traditional models of trade promotion have undergone a major change. Digital transformation now plays a new role.

New markets are opened up through online audits such as in the case of Thailand. The way is open for new trade destinations.

Sustainability and animal welfare

Sustainability and welfare, objectives pursued by the sector before the pandemic, continue to play an important role today. Propollo explains how "the poultry sector has been investing heavily in the modernisation of facilities, access to new sources of renewable energy, the application of circular economies and waste management. But it is a global commitment, and therefore must continue to be encouraged by public administrations, to extend the possibilities of adopting them to as many companies as possible".

Another of the topics mentioned refers to the Meat Sector Working Group of the Food for Life-Spain Technology Platform (PTF4LS), which aims to strengthen and organise R&D&I processes, create structures that allow this innovation to be channelled effectively and efficiently structure the industry's relationship with the world of innovation, identifying common interests and market requirements.

Antibiotic-free production, funding opportunities for R&D&I projects and food safety in fermented sausages are some of the new projects on which meat companies have embarked.

The report also points out that the emergence of processed meat substitutes in the coming years, which will compete with traditional products, should not be overlooked. This is yet another challenge that the meat sector will have to face.


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