EU Poultry Sector

This is European Poultry! High-quality poultry with European guarantee

Key facts about European poultry

Poultry meat is tasty, quick to prepare and a beneficial ingredient to include in a balanced diet. Poultry meat is among the most versatile in the kitchen, at home or in the restaurant since it can be used in an incredible number of delicious and appetising recipes. Poultry meat has always been present on European tables although in different cuts and species in the different European countries. The first historical references on poultry farming in Europe date from the 3rd – 2nd century BC by the Latin writer Cato the Elder . This practise and the consumption of poultry meat has evolved following the course of European history, at first featuring only in the domestic economy, and then becoming one of the hallmarks of the current European economic scene. The European poultry meat sector promotes economic growth and strengthens local communities by creating around 370,000 direct jobs in rural and semi-rural areas across Europe. Additionally, the care that goes into quality European poultry meat can be found all through the supply chain, from animal welfare and health to the excellence of the final product, from sustainable production to the high standards of processing methods.

Common rules guarantee first-class poultry meat

Poultry is an important part of the European diet. In the past ten years, EU consumption has increased by 23% and experts predict a further slight increase over the next decade.
The European poultry sector is well prepared, both for the worldwide growing demand for this affordable source of protein and for the stringent requirements regarding food safety, animal welfare and environmental protection. Authorities and poultry association at EU and national levels are working hand in hand to ensure uniform high standards throughout the production chain. No matter which EU country the poultry meat comes from, consumers can always be confident that they are buying safe, high-quality poultry meat produced with high European standards.

A global player with family-based structures

The European poultry sector plays a relevant role on the global stage by being the third-largest poultry meat producer in the world after the USA and China .
Chicken meat accounts for the largest share (83%) of EU poultry production, turkey meat (13%) and duck meat (4%) follow at great distance.
The EU poultry sector plays an important role not only as a meat supplier but also as an economic factor employing numerous direct workers in breeding, growing, fattening, slaughtering and processing – most of them on one of the 25,000 family farms. In addition, there are many indirect jobs, for example in the feed, packaging sectors and the machinery industry producing the equipment used in slaughterhouses.

Strong voice of the poultry industry

Animal welfare, food quality and sustainability are the three main goals of the European poultry sector. The Brussels-based umbrella organisation AVEC (European Association of Poultry Processors and Poultry Trade) represents about 95% of poultry meat producers in the EU and is in constant contact with all relevant European and international organisations and decision-makers. At the national level, the associations representing the interest of producers and processors of chicken, turkey and duck are:

  • Bundesverband der Geflügelschlachtereien (BVG) under the umbrella of the Zentralverbandes der Deutschen Geflügelwirtschaft (ZDG) – in Germany
  • CIDEF – Comité Interprofessionnel de la Dinde – in France
  • KRD-IG – Krajowa Rada Drobiarstwa – Izba Gospodarcza – in Poland
  • NEPLUVI – Vereniging van de Nederlandse Pluimveeverwerkende Industrie – in The Netherlands
  • UNAITALIA – Unione Nazionale Filiere Agroalimentari delle Carni e delle Uova – in Italy