The draft measure comes in response to recent findings from Slovakia’s Poultry Union (Únie hydinárov Slovenska - UHS). Currently, local poultry meat represents only 38% of the offer of Slovakia-based retail chains, and less than 10% of the meat served by local restaurants, reports local news agency TASR. Major chains control an estimated 90% of Slovakia’s retail market, which limits consumers’ access to local meat products, the association said in a statement.
“Last year generated a positive trend regarding the production of poultry meat and eggs,” said Daniel Molnar, president of the UHS, at a recent press conference. “We reported a slight increase compared with a year earlier, but still, these results cannot match the results from before 2005 and [Slovakia’s] accession to the European Union.”
Poultry meat production up
In 2015, Slovak poultry breeders reported a poultry production volume of 95,295 tonnes, which was an increase of 4.2%, or 3,869 tonnes, compared with a year earlier. However, last year’s output represented only 79% of the level from 2005. In 2015, Slovak slaughterhouses produced 59,069 tonnes of poultry meat, which was an increase of 16%, or 8,166 tonnes, compared with a year earlier. Despite the reported expansion, the country’s poultry meat production remains at a relatively low level of only 10.85kg per capita, which ranks Slovakia among the four EU member states with the lowest poultry production, according to Molnar.
“Slovakia’s self-reliance in the field of poultry meat production is only 54%, which means that the country lags behind many other EU member states,” the industry association said in a statement.
Molnar said that, while most Slovak restaurants and cafes opt to offer imported poultry meat to their customers, between 95% and 100% of the surveyed outlets claim that they buy poultry meat from local producers. There are only three poultry meat processors active in the Slovak market, but there are an array of companies that specialise in purchasing imported poultry meat, repacking it and selling to domestic retailers under local labels. According to estimates by the UHS, there are currently 46 such firms in Slovakia.
Set up in 1996 and based in the country’s capital Bratislava, the UHS says it represents the interests of some 40 member entities that are active in the Slovak poultry industry. These include Hydina Kubus, Big Dutchman International, Huhtamaki Ceska Republika, Hydina Holding, UBM Agro Slovakia, and Ekobauernhof, according to data released by the industry association.