Report Synopsis

Drivers for Innovation in the Poultry Industry

Jessica Pitkin

Poultry meat consumption has rapidly increased since the 1960s. Innovation in shedding, management and genetics has seen great increases in daily gains and improved feed conversion resulting in cheaper more consistent product. The increase in consumption has led to the growth of both the number and size of farms.

Innovation drivers come in many forms .Drivers towards innovation can sometimes also act as barriers if not implemented and communicated correctly.

Some key factors that determine adoption of innovation include cash flow, regulation, industry and company structure, industry insight, disease outbreaks, media campaigns, urban sprawl and knowledge of innovative practices or products.

Innovation doesn’t always mean increased profits or productivity. There is a distinction between consumer led innovation reducing productivity, and grower led innovation boosting productivity. Drivers for innovation can be divided into four categories:

  1. Industry led;
  2. Processor led;
  3. Farmer led; and
  4. Consumer led.

Regulations imposed by government, animal welfare agencies and industry bodies can act as both drivers and barriers of innovation. Well written insightful regulation can serve the industry well by driving it toward innovative practices and ideas. However, regulation that is based on consumer trends or traditional methods or standards can act as an inhibitor of innovation. Increasingly the minority is driving the industry toward change that is increasing the cost of production by influencing regulators.

The key to adoption on one farm maybe completely different to uptake on another farm. Many farmers are not aware of or are ignorant to problems on their own farms.

Creating awareness of new ideas is the beginning to encouraging innovation. Motivation though education creates possible solutions to these problems. Communication of what other farms in the area are doing or where industry trends are heading is a great way to encourage farmers to innovate

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