The latest poultry, pig and animal feed news, animal agribusiness trends and research from WATTAgNet.com.
Thursday, January 29, 2015
Antibiotic-free chicken now in consumer mainstream
Antibiotic-free broiler products are no longer a niche market. The event that brought the issue into the mainstream was actually several years ago when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Medical Association turned antibiotic use in animals into a human health issue. That was the opinion expressed by Richard Kottmeyer, a consumer industry analyst with Strategic, at the beginning of the discussion.
“We now have a lot of people who know someone who has problems with antibiotic resistance,” said Kottmeyer. “It is a mainstream health issue. I think in a few years, one-third of chicken and turkey will be antibiotic free. The problem then is the other 66 percent of consumers will be resenting the fact their chicken isn’t antibiotic free.”
Perdue has been one of the leading mainstream poultry producers embracing antibiotic-free production. Dr. Bruce Stewart-Brown talked about Perdue’s 12-year journey to antibiotic-free production and some of the lessons learned. He stressed it is a process.
“We’ve learned a lot of things,” said Stewart-Brown. “For example, you must have clean eggs in hatchery. We had to clean hatcheries better, had to step up sanitation and use a stricter approach as it related to personnel and procedures. [I] think the hatchery piece was the most significant to work through, but in the end all that cleaning and sanitation had positive side benefits in regards to chick quality.