Opportunities in focus at Outlook Conference
Last week’s AHDB Outlook Conference highlighted some of the opportunities available to the UK meat industry.
The conference was opened by new AHDB Chief Executive, Jane King, who spoke of the role of AHDB in enabling UK agriculture to improve productivity to compete with the leading nations. She highlighted the example of Denmark, in particular, where there was a more joined up approach to improvement.
The first keynote speaker, Richard Nicholls from the Future Foundation, considered key trends for consumer markets over the next 5 years. Among the areas covered was the re-emergence of health issues, although salt and sugar seem to be more of a focus than fats at the moment, which could benefit the red meat sector. He also considered how new technologies were changing the way consumers shopped and their rising expectations, for example around personalisation. Richard also highlighted some of the opportunities from emerging markets, with their increasing ‘middle classes’ demanding more high quality food.
This theme was developed further by the second speaker, Nick Miles from the Institute of Grocery Development (IGD). His presentation focused on Asian markets and, in particular, the rapid development of modern retail in the region. With four markets in the global top 10 and ten in the top 30, Asia has great and growing importance. Modern retail is still limited in most countries but is increasing rapidly. However, the marketplace is still highly fragmented and competition between retailers is fierce. This makes it a challenging but potentially rewarding place to do business.
The conference concluded with three breakout sessions, including one covering pigs and poultry. This featured presentations on the outlook for pig meat supplies and an overview of the state of the poultry sector. The former included analysis of the latest AHDB/BPEX supply forecasts.
Short video summaries of each of the conference presentations are now available, by clicking here.