Demand rises for home-grown poultry

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Increased demand for poultry meat sourced from Thai processors, growing interest in home-sourced supplies and unfavourable exchange rates are boosting business for the UK's poultry meat suppliers, according to Kookaburra.

The company, which is based in Peterlee, County Durham, supplies poultry and other meats for secondary processors of products such as pizzas, ready meals and sandwiches.

In the past few years, a lot of the poultry meat that had been sourced by UK secondary processors had come from Thailand, according to Kookaburra md Tony Gilroy. However, this is rapidly changing as the weak pound affects the economic viability of imports.

Gilroy said the development of increasingly sophisticated oriental markets was diverting supplies away from the UK and Europe to feed the growing ready meals industry in the Far East.

"There's less availability from Thai-based suppliers, because they are supplying the Far East, which is boosting demand for UK-grown chicken," said Gilroy. "We deal with about 95% home-sourced chicken."

The trend was as evident in public procurement and the foodservice market where Kookaburra aimed to grow its presence as it was in the supermarket sector, said Gilroy.

"There are big opportunities in this sector, especially as foodservice clients look towards food made closer to home."

Related topics: Supply Chain, Meat & poultry