By Keith Henderson
As we come to the end of 2006, the poultry industry must look back on what has been a turbulent 12 months.
The spectre of avian influenza has had many knock-on repercussions that we will probably have to deal with for many years.
I believe that some progress has been made with the UK's contingency plans, but more liaison between industry and government is needed.
Earlier in the year Deans Food Group Ltd and Stonegate Farmers Ltd merged to become Noble Foods. The new company now markets over 70% of the eggs in the UK which should create a better climate for discussions with supermarket buyers, but it leaves producers with less competition for their eggs.
Free range producers have had to trade under very difficult conditions over the past six months with increasing production difficulties.Coupled with the constant rise in compound feed prices at the moment it means that further increases in the egg price have now become a necessity if the industry is to remain sustainable.