Vincent Carton, the managing director of Carton Brothers poultry processing business, has told AgriLand that Government must do more to clarify its intentions regarding the implementation of its Harvest 2020 strategy for those sectors other than beef and dairy.

He added: “Poultry has been grouped together with a number of other sectors including pigs, cereals, seafood, forestry and organic food production in the context o the Harvest 2020 report. The bottom line is that these sectors, combined, are expected to deliver an additional 15,000 new jobs.

“The poultry industry is prepared to do its bit in making all of this happen. However, it is incumbent on government to clarify what additional support measures it hopes to introduce in order to pump prime further investment within our industry.”

Carton went on to make the point that job creation within the poultry meat industry is synonymous with additional growth in output.

He further explained: “It is more than feasible for processors to scale up their operations. And the same story holds true at farm level.  In fact, most of our growers would welcome the opportunity to build a new shed, as it will allow them make more efficient use of the manpower and other facilities that are already on site. But government must play its part in making all of this happen”

“One of the most significant good news stories to have emanated from the poultry meat industry over recent years has been the growing recognition that the litter left after the birds have been harvested is an excellent source of fertiliser.

Carton again: “Almost 50 per cent of the poultry litter produced in Ireland is utilised directly by the mushroom sector as a component of the growing medium required by that industry. However, I envisage a growing demand for litter from cereal and potato growers, who recognise its worth as a valuable fertiliser source.

“In reality, poultry litter is much more than a waste product.”