By Lisa Humphreys
With United Nations figures projecting a world population of more than 9.6 billion people by 2050, the pressure on food producers to keep up and plan ahead has reached critical levels. Not only are they obligated to feed this exponentially growing population, but they are also being asked to do so with fewer inputs, changing production systems and a focus on reducing environmental impacts and water, land and energy use. These requirements pose a unique challenge to animal protein producers, as they are also responsible for animal welfare by providing more space and resources for their animals’ care than ever before. Balancing consumer needs with producing a high-quality animal product is the necessary and delicate predicament of U.S. Soy’s No. 1 customer. Soybean farmers, processors, buyers and sellers all play a crucial role in the future of the meat and egg products industry, both as central players in its success as providers of feed inputs and competitors.
The International Production & Processing Expo, the world’s largest annual poultry, meat and feed industry event of its kind, gathers experts from around the world to discuss key trends and changes that will impact the future of the market. IPPE gives the soybean industry strategic information about how these shifts in poultry will impact feed and soy. As all indicators point to these being permanent changes, the entire soybean value chain should prepare to meet these new realities.
Soybean meal is included in more than 90% of diets for poultry and swine, so changes in market demands and management practices stand to have significant impacts on the soybean industry. Soybean buyers and sellers looking to stay on top of opportunities and get ahead of challenges should be aware of the ongoing changes in the poultry industry.
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- The same drivers motivating most alternative protein purchases are also supporting the poultry protein market: lower environmental impact and higher protein for the diet.
- Antibiotic-free production not only changes medical practices for poultry but also the dietary needs of animals raised in these operations with a focus on quality.
- In an era of outbreaks, feed and animal traceability is a safety precaution, adding to consumer demands for sustainability and welfare measures.