Luca Cerani, vice president sales and marketing of Sealed Air’s subsidiary Cryovac Food Solutions said: “Few industries enjoy such rapid growth.” EU consumption of poultry products is set to increase by 9% over the next five years from an average of 22.2 kg per capita in 2008.
Processed and packaged forms
Philip Wilkinson, a director of the British Poultry Council, highlighted the role of poultry in feeding the planet. “There are 2.4 billion more of us today than in 1980 and there will be an extra 3 billion more by 2050,” he said. With more people reaching an income levels of $10/day or more, their need for more meat, particularly processed and packaged forms, will increase.
But to reach that potential, the sector needed innovative packaging, the seminar heard.
Although there are negative perceptions of packaging, it can make a key contribution to food safety and shelf life to help face the global food challenge, he said.
Centralized food preparation and packaging of case ready supplies can also reduce waste within the supply chain. In the US, centralized processing and packaging systems are estimated to produce downstream yield savings for fresh red meat of about 5% of total sales.
Despite negative perceptions of food packaging, the seminar heard that in reality it was already an efficiently operating sector. For example, in the UK, producing and transporting food requires 10 times more energy than the packaging used to protect it.
Also, about one third of the food purchased by consumers is thrown away. Local authorities spend an estimated £1bn every year collecting this food waste, which consigned to landfill emits methane, a notorious greenhouse gas.
Nan-Dirk Mulder, associate director commodities, feed and animal protein of Rabobank International predicted that within 20 years poultry will overtake pork as the world’s preferred animal protein.
Meanwhile, the whole meat market is expected to grow by nearly 40% over the next 20 years. Asia is expected to account for 70% of this growth with demand in China forging ahead.