Poultry International - January 2017 - 16

16 ❙ PoultryInternational

Antibiotic-free poultry's broader
economic implications
The higher costs associated with antibiotic-free poultry production in
the US have implications beyond the country's producers.
TODD SOUTHERLAND

The trend toward antibiotic-free poultry production
is likely to have some unexpected and far-reaching
consequences.
The U.S. poultry industry is poised to set production records heading into 2017 due to continuing
increases in head counts and bird weights. Consumer
demand for specialty protein
is also a driver of this volume
expansion, as it has become a
significant factor in the types of
birds being marketed.
This category shift, with a
particular emphasis on antibiotTodd Southerland ic-free (ABF) chicken, has been
particularly amplified in 2016,
as several fast-food chains have announced their intent
to phase out the use of conventional chicken in favor of
ABF meat over the coming years.
ABF birds include those for which any form of
traditional-use antibiotics - those intended for human
use - are being withheld. While a small subset of the
market is raising birds without antibiotics of any kind,
this does not represent the larger segment of the ABF

market. Under this broader definition, the size of the
ABF market has grown to more than 50 percent of U.S.
bird populations by some estimates. Further growth of
this category appears inevitable.

Industry drivers
The birth of the specialty chicken category was
originally centered around concerns for the welfare
of animals. A small, select group of consumers cared
about the conditions in which chickens were being
raised, and were willing to pay the necessary premium
for a differentiated product.  
However, the foundation of the "new and improved" ABF movement is a meaningful departure
from its origins. Marketers are using the hypothetical and potentially negative interactions between
consumed and ingested antibiotics to create an emotional reaction and spur a decision among consumers to move to ABF product. For now, it's working.
What do we know for certain about this evolution in
the chicken industry? It will raise the cost of production
for U.S. processors, through increased mortality and
a likely decline in weight gain efficiencies. This is an

Will antibiotic-free broiler producers
be competitive?
www.WATTAgNet.com/articles/24230

www.WATTAgNet.com ❙ January 2017


http://www.WATTAgNet.com/articles/24230 http://www.WATTAgNet.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Poultry International - January 2017

Poultry International - January 2017
Contents
Editor’s Comment
News
EU poultry production forecast positive over next decade
Top Russian broiler producers grow in tough market
Antibiotic-free poultry’s broader economic implications
Layer nutrition: 12 perennial points of anxiety
Layer nutrition: 12 perennial points of anxiety
8 checks to minimize poultry processing rejects
Products
Marketplace
Advertisers’ Index
Poultry International - January 2017 - Poultry International - January 2017
Poultry International - January 2017 - Cover2
Poultry International - January 2017 - Contents
Poultry International - January 2017 - Editor’s Comment
Poultry International - January 2017 - 3
Poultry International - January 2017 - 4
Poultry International - January 2017 - News
Poultry International - January 2017 - 6
Poultry International - January 2017 - 7
Poultry International - January 2017 - EU poultry production forecast positive over next decade
Poultry International - January 2017 - 9
Poultry International - January 2017 - 10
Poultry International - January 2017 - 11
Poultry International - January 2017 - Top Russian broiler producers grow in tough market
Poultry International - January 2017 - 13
Poultry International - January 2017 - 14
Poultry International - January 2017 - 15
Poultry International - January 2017 - Antibiotic-free poultry’s broader economic implications
Poultry International - January 2017 - 17
Poultry International - January 2017 - 18
Poultry International - January 2017 - 19
Poultry International - January 2017 - 20
Poultry International - January 2017 - 21
Poultry International - January 2017 - 22
Poultry International - January 2017 - 23
Poultry International - January 2017 - Layer nutrition: 12 perennial points of anxiety
Poultry International - January 2017 - 25
Poultry International - January 2017 - 26
Poultry International - January 2017 - 27
Poultry International - January 2017 - 8 checks to minimize poultry processing rejects
Poultry International - January 2017 - 29
Poultry International - January 2017 - 30
Poultry International - January 2017 - 31
Poultry International - January 2017 - 32
Poultry International - January 2017 - 33
Poultry International - January 2017 - Products
Poultry International - January 2017 - 35
Poultry International - January 2017 - 36
Poultry International - January 2017 - 37
Poultry International - January 2017 - 38
Poultry International - January 2017 - 39
Poultry International - January 2017 - 40
Poultry International - January 2017 - 41
Poultry International - January 2017 - 42
Poultry International - January 2017 - Marketplace
Poultry International - January 2017 - Advertisers’ Index
Poultry International - January 2017 - Cover3
Poultry International - January 2017 - Cover4
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