Making the poultry sector innovative and progressive in 2023

James Mottershead

James Mottershead

NFU Poultry Board chair (West Midlands member)

First published: 30 December 2022

An image of James Mottershead in his broiler

In his New Year message, NFU Poultry Board chair James Mottershead looks at how the industry will tackle some of the most challenging times it has ever faced.

It is currently very difficult to predict what is going to happen day-by-day, let alone what the year ahead may bring for the poultry sector.

Since taking on the role of Poultry Board chair in March I have witnessed more than 170 outbreaks of AI (avian influenza), numerous knock-on impacts across the supply chain and three Prime Ministers!

Thinking about the longer-term strategy will be imperative as we move into 2023.

Attracting the best in the business

“We need to be bolder and shout out about our progressive and innovative sector”

NFU Poultry Board chair James Mottershead

Recruiting to attract the people we need in processing and packing as well as on our farms, finding solutions to help with the onslaught of AI and ensuring fairness in the supply chain are areas we will continue to work on.

We need to be bolder and shout about our progressive and innovative sector to attract the best people into our businesses, and by working with other key stakeholders we will tackle some of the most challenging times the industry has ever faced.

We will all need to play our part to ensure that we have a thriving industry in the future.

Focusing on the future

AI has devastated our industry and for many of you the question of whether poultry is a viable enterprise for the future is all too real.

While it’s hard to focus on what the year ahead may look like when we are fighting day-to-day challenges, which scale way beyond AI to rising input costs, supply chain fairness and NGO-led pressure on bird welfare and environmental credentials, my role at the NFU is to do just that.

We must navigate the here and now as well as keeping an eye on a longer term strategy.

Consumers are looking for versatile and affordable protein, which poultry meat and eggs offer the perfect answer to.

So while it’s difficult to see through the fog at times, our biggest opportunity will be paved by loyal consumers who demand high-quality and nutritious poultry meat and eggs.

Your President's New Year message

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