In 2015, Poland was once again the largest producer of poultry in Europe reaching over 2.3 million metric tons (MMT) of the meat in industry estimates, which was 10 percent higher than the previous year. In the current year, the average Pole is forecasted to eat 29.5 kilogram (kg) of poultry meat, 0.5 kg more than the previous year. For comparison, in 2008, the figure was about 24 kg per capita.
As the director general of the Polish Poultry Council, Łukasz Dominiak, explains, local poultry meat consumption has been growing continuously, but at a slower pace than production, and expanding exports is necessary.
Thanks to foreign sales, mainly to other EU countries, but also to Africa and Asia, the Polish poultry industry has been rapidly growing. 40 percent of Poland’s poultry output goes to export markets, up 17 percent from last year.
USSEC Technical Director - Northeast Europe Jerzy Kosieradzki recalls how in recent years, USSEC has invested a considerable amount of the U.S. Soy industry’s resources into programs supporting the Polish poultry sector’s growth and development. Initially, the managers and technical specialists representing Polish broiler and turkey companies were invited to foreign poultry shows such as the International Poultry Exhibition (IPPE) in Atlanta, Georgia, or poultry production team visits to the U.S. Now, most USSEC support focuses on poultry nutrition and feed manufacturing, where Polish specialists are provided with first class know-how at national poultry feeding seminars and conferences, feed formulation training courses, feed ingredient purchasing educational programs, broiler and layer field visits held in western European countries, in-company consultations with internationally renowned experts, and sponsored trips to various soy trade conferences held in the U.S. and Europe.
The consequent work of U.S. Soy envoys in this sixth largest European country to rebuild its poultry and feed industry after its collapse a couple of decades ago began paying off a few years ago resulting in rapidly growing soybean meal utilization, which is counted today in millions of tons, with resumed purchases from the U.S. In recent years, Poland has been buying between 150 and 350 thousand metric tons (TMT) of U.S. meal a year, depending on the international soy markets. More work is needed to secure sustainable market share for U.S. Soy in this market and USSEC is determined to meet this challenge.