Chicken meat production
in Australia 1970-2011
Chicken meat produced
( 1,000 tons carcass weight)
Source: ABS (2011), and earlier
releases of the same catalogue
The percentage incase in chicken meat
produced over the same period is even
greater, due to market and product
range changes that have fuelled
demand for larger birds.
resulting in chicken becoming more
central in the Australian diet. Over the
last two decades, consumption has
increased by 60 percent, while prices
have decreased by 40 percent.
The number of chickens
slaughtered in Australia has steadily
increased and the percentage
increase in chicken meat produced
over the same period has been
even greater due to the demand for
particular products requiring larger
birds at time of slaughter.
Some 69 percent of Australian
chicken leaves the primary processing
plant as either whole, filleted or in
pieces and is not further processed.
Some 40 percent of raw chicken
meat goes to supermarkets, with
wholesalers accounting for 19 percent.
Sales to quick serve restaurants, the
hospitality and food services industry,
specialty poultry retailers, pet food
manufacturers and butchers make up
a further 39 percent.
Australia has witnessed a steady
trend away from frozen chicken,
with volumes of fresh chicken now
outweighing frozen by ten to one.
Consumers have also shown a
growing preference for purchasing
Australian real retail price
(CPI adjusted) and per
of chicken 1987-2010
Consumption per captia
1987/88 1989/90 1991/92 1993/94 1995/96 1997/98 1999/00 2001/02 2003/04 2005/06 2007/08 2009/10
Source: Derived from data presented in ABARES (2010),
ABARES (2011a) and earlier versions of these reports
Over the last two decades, consumption
has increased by over 60 percent, while
price has decreased by 40 percent.
chicken in pieces, ready to cook,
although the sale of fresh whole
chickens remains strong.
Approximately 31 percent of
chicken meat goes to further
processing. Most of the products
from further processing go to
supermarkets, 34 percent, and quick
service restaurants, 33 percent.
Products from further processing also
go to hospitality and food service
providers, 17 percent, wholesalers, 6
percent, specialty shops, 6 percent,
and butchers, < 1 percent.
The number of people working
in the industry is estimated to be
approximately 40,000. In addition, a
further 100,000 jobs are estimated to
be directly dependent on the industry.
Australia has strict trade policies and
biosecurity measures to ensure that the
country and its poultry industries are
protected from diseases that are not
usually found in the country. Imports
of chicken meat, other than from New
Zealand or as canned or fully retorted
products, were banned until 1998, and
remain subject to stringent conditions,
resulting in very limited imports of
processed chicken meat and no
imports of fresh chicken meat.
Nominal retail price of
meat in Australia 2000-2009
Source: ABARES (2010)
The flat trend of chicken meat prices
relative to the price of other meats is due to
productivity gains and costs of production.
This means that virtually
all chicken meat eaten in Australia is
grown in the country. Additionally,
almost all chicken meat produced in
Australia is consumed locally, with only
a little under 5 percent being exported.
Chicken meat cannot be freely
imported into Australia due to
quarantine rules to protect local
commercial poultry and native birds
from disease, and consumers from
certain food hazards. Quarantine
conditions focus on nine diseases
and pathogens of concern, and
any chicken meat products from
regions which are not free of all
these diseases needs to be cooked
to various extents depending on the
disease in question in accordance
with the relevant import protocol.
In the 10 years to 2010, the country