“Sustainability” is one of the main points of discussion among key poultry industry stakeholders. On Jan. 26, in a hosted webinar, featuring this hot topic, and again on Feb. 9, the European Forum of Farm Animal Breeders (EFFAB) ran the second “Breeders talk green” event focusing on “Healthy and happy animals for sustainable societies.” Anne-Marie Neeteson, Global Vice President of Welfare & Compliance for Aviagen® Group, shared her thoughts at each of these events.
Anne-Marie made the point that “Sustainability is good for business.” Beginning with a background on Sustainability and its three pillars (Environmental, Social and Economic), she discussed the United Nations’ Sustainability Goals (SDGs) – the pathway to a better and more sustainable future for people everywhere. The International Poultry Council (IPC) has prioritized five of these goals as areas where the poultry meat sector can make a difference, and Aviagen is putting these five goals into practice through its Top 5 Commitments.
Sustainability is similar to good business; a balanced breeding program means that production, environmental impact, health, welfare and robustness continue to improve simultaneously. The very low environmental footprint of chickens comes from the enhancements in Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR). Healthy animals are more biologically efficient, which is good for the environment and the economic sustainability of producers. These birds are more resistant to disease; their liveability is strong, and they perform better. This all strengthens the ability of farmers to put affordable, healthy food on the tables of families in their growing communities throughout the world.
The relatively low start-up costs for a poultry business, strengthens the economic value proposition for chicken production, and its feature of being by nature a “social” meat, widely accepted and lacking any negative religious or cultural connotations, makes it readily available, making the right balance of amino acids, for children, pregnant women, and elderly people across the globe.
During the EFFAB webinar, Anne-Marie had a conversation with fellow poultry industry professionals on “Poultry breeding for welfare and sustainability.” Aviagen has a history of breeding with an ever-increasing focus on sustainability, with welfare as its cornerstone and the most important contribution to sustainable meat production. During the webinar Anne-Marie discussed with the panel Aviagen’s balanced breeding approach. Aviagen’s birds are selected for the best health and welfare, with ongoing improvement in skeletal, leg/foot and cardiovascular health and livability. At the same time, production traits such as a healthy growth rate and meat yield are advanced right along with feed efficiency, which lessens the environmental impact of meat production.
“By Breeding Sustainability and living our Top 5 Commitments, Aviagen strengthens the ability of poultry producers to put food on every table of families around the world,” concluded Anne-Marie.