Poultry production in the Netherlands has to change for a prosperous future. This is a mutual task of poultry producers, consumers, governmental and non-governmental organisations, and knowledge institutions. The outbreak of avian influenza in the beginning of 2003 in the centre of the Netherlands made the urgency of change quite clear. This is the outcome of an investigation by researchers of Wageningen University and Research Centre. In a report (in dutch) they provide building blocks to facilitate discussions and actions to be taken.
Dutch poultry production is internationally orientated. About 70 per cent of the production is as yet exported. The size of Dutch poultry production in the future is an outcome of the changes that can be arranged. Geographically, the Netherlands is very well located in an area with about 150 million prosperous consumers. Paris, London, Berlin are all within 500 km. Production for the world market is not cost-effective because of relative high costs of labour and other production factors. On the other hand, consumers in North Western part of Europe have more and more specific demands with regard to food quality and production methods (e.g. an animal and environmental friendly husbandry), but are as yet not ready to pay the costs of these demands.
Dutch poultry production, both eggs and meat, has a future in this part of Europe, mainly in fresh products provided that
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