Banning cage layer systems and the consequences for the EU poultry producers

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"The EU Legislators did not fully consider what impacts the banning of conventional cages would have on the future development of egg production and the resulting egg deficit." With this quote of …

"The EU Legislators did not fully consider what impacts the banning of conventional cages would have on the future development of egg production and the resulting egg deficit." With this quote of Professor Hans Windhorst underlined in an interview with Terry Evans (ThePoultrySite, 2009) what he had predicted during his presentation at the ISAH meeting in St. Malo, France in 2004.

Given the ongoing discussions on cage systems in othe parts of the word, Professor Windhorst expert opinion (although expressed in 2009) is still extremely interesting.

He pointed out that the switch from conventional cages to enriched cages, floor management or free-range systems would inevitably lead to higher production costs. Economists at Wageningen University in the Netherlands have shown that production costs in enriched cages would increase by some eight per cent over those of conventional cages. In the German small colony system, the extra costs would be of the order of 10 per cent, while switching to the barn system in the Netherlands would result in costs rising by 21 per cent.

"On the cost of switching away from conventional cages, an investment as high as €6.1 billion would be required. In Germany alone, some €612 million would be needed to meet the existing legal regulations by the end of 2009."

He believes that it is not realistic to assume that this capital would be available under present financial and economic conditions, and he wonders how the EU would react when the member countries failed to fulfil the requirements of the Directive.

He observed that it was obvious that legislators in the EU as well as at the country level in Germany did not fully consider what impacts the banning of conventional cages would have on the future development of egg production and the resulting egg deficit.

Because German retailers would not stock eggs from the small colony system, large egg producers in that country realised that they would not be able to switch to floor management systems by the end of 2009.

This would result in "Financial losses for production companies, higher consumer prices and increasing imports of shell eggs and egg products," Professor Windhorst concluded in his interview with ThePoultrySite in 2009.

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  • 1. The impacts of the new EU directive for laying hen husbandry on the production and trade patterns for eggs and egg products Hans-W. Windhorst Institute of Spatial Analysis and Planning In Areas of Intensive Agriculture (ISPA) University of Vechta, Germany Congress of the International Society of Animal Hygiene St. Malo, October 11th, 2004 ISPA
  • 2. Agenda • Introduction • The setting: Regional patterns of egg production and egg trade • The new EU and German directives for laying hen husbandry • Impacts on egg production and egg trade • Discussion: Further challenges for the egg and egg products industries ISPA
  • 3. Introduction • The EU directive 1999/74/EC will have far reaching impacts on egg production and egg trade not only in Europe but world-wide. Conventional cages will be banned from 2012 on, enriched cages have to be installed from 2003 on. • The German directive, passed by the Bundesrat in October 2001 is even more strict. It prohibits conventional cages from 2007 on and enriched cages from 2012 on. Even though the Bundesrat changed its decision in November 2003, this decision has not become effective as the Secretary of Consumer Protection, Nutrition and Agriculture has not yet signed the directive. ISPA
  • 4. The setting: Regional Patterns of egg production and egg trade ISPA
  • 5. The development of global egg production between 1990 und 2003, data in 1,000 t Region 1990 2003 Change (%) ________________________________________________ Africa 1,550 2,082 + 34.3 N. a. C. America 5,698 7,951 + 39.5 S. America 2,233 2,951 + 29.9 Asia 14,507 32,927 + 127.0 Europe 11,125 9,886 - 11.1 Oceania 244 195 - 20.1 ________________________________________________ World 35,208 55,992 + 59.0 FAO ISPA
  • 6. The ten leading countries in egg production in 1990 and 2003, in % of the global production 1990 2003 ________________________________________________ China 18.6 China 40.1 USA 11.3 USA 9.2 USSR 7.5 Japan 4.5 Japan 6.9 India 3.9 India 3.6 Russia 3.7 Brazil 3.5 Mexico 3.4 Mexico 2.9 Brazil 2.8 Germany 2.8 France 1.8 Ukraine 2.7 Germany 1.6 France 2.5 Un. Kingd. 1.3 _________________________________________________ Total 62.3 Total 72.2 FAO ISPA
  • 7. The development of egg production in selected EU member states between 1990 und 2003, data in 1,000 t Country 1990 2003 Change (%) _________________________________________________ Portugal 79.6 108.5 + 36.3 Belgium/Lux. 159.2 180.0 + 13.1 France 886.8 1.000.0 + 12.8 Ireland 31.1 34.0 + 9.3 Spain 666.6 700.0 + 5.0 Finland 76.4 53.0 - 30.6 Sweden 129.8 93.9 - 27.7 Germany 985.0 880.0 - 10.7 _________________________________________________ EU 5.234.8 5.368.9 + 2.9 FAO ISPA
  • 8. The regional pattern of the global trade with shell eggs, data in % Region Exports Imports __________________________________________ Africa 1.9 4.0 N. a. C. America 7.1 7.1 S. America 1.5 0.7 Asia 25.9 22.4 Europe 63.5 65.7 Oceania 0.1 0.1 __________________________________________ Welt 100.0 100.0 FAO ISPA
  • 9. The ten leading export and import countries for shell eggs in 2002, data in 1,000 t Country Exports Country Imports ________________________________________________ Netherlands 264.6 Germany 257.8 Malaysia 115.2 China 82.0 Belgium 86.2 Italy 62.8 China 83.9 Netherlands 61.4 Germany 68.5 Un. Kind. 45.7 Spain 61.1 Canada 34.2 USA 60.9 Belgium 32.4 France 43.3 Singapore 26.5 Belarus 30.8 Switzerland 25.5 Iran 18.6 Austria 14.7 _________________________________________________ % of global exp. 82.8 % of global imp. 71.0 FAO ISPA
  • 10. The development of Germany´s shell egg imports between 1992 and 2003, data in mill. pieces Exporting 1992 2003 Change (%) Country ___________________________________________ Netherlands 3,936 2,782 29.3 Spain 22 355 + 1,513.6 France 80 211 + 163.8 Belgium 280 209 25.4 ___________________________________________ EU total 4,367 3,781 13.4 ___________________________________________ Total 4,432 4,006 9.6 ZMP ISPA
  • 11. The development of Dutch shell egg exports between 1992 and 2003, data in mill. pieces Importing 1992 2003 Change (%) Country ___________________________________________ Germany 3,831 2,544 - 33.6 Belgium 785 171 - 78.2 Un. Kingd. 172 124 - 27.9 ___________________________________________ EU total 5,216 2,986 - 42.8 ___________________________________________ Non-EU 877 322 - 63.3 ___________________________________________ Total 6,093 3,308 - 45.7 ZMP ISPA
  • 12. The new EU and German directives for laying hen husbandry ISPA
  • 13. Directive 1999/74/EU ______________________________________________ Conventional cages: • from January 1st 2003 on: minimum usable space 550 cm2 for each hen • trough length: 10 cm per hen • no longer permitted after December 31st, 2011 • must no longer be installed from January 1st, 2003 on ISPA
  • 14. Directive 1999/74/EU ______________________________________________ Enriched cages: • from January 1st 2003 on: 750 cm2 per hen, minimum usable space 600 cm2 for each hen • no cage must be smaller than 2,000 cm2 • trough length: 12 cm per hen • cages must have a nest, perches (15 cm resting space per hen), and a sand-bath (scratching area) • have to be installed from January 1st, 2003 on in new poultry houses ISPA
  • 15. The new German directive for laying hen husbandry: ______________________________________________ • From January 1st, 2003 on no cages may be installed, neither conventional nor enriched cages. • From January 1st, 2007 on conventional cages and from January 1st, 2012 on enriched cages will be prohibited in Germany. • From January 1st, 2003 on new facilities for laying hens have to be at least 2 m high and have to have a basic area of at least 2 m x 1.5 m. • A single flock must not be larger than 6,000 hens. ISPA
  • 16. Impacts on egg production and egg trade ISPA
  • 17. Impacts of the EU directive (1999/74/EU): ___________________________________________________ • Egg production in the EU will decrease by about 11 billion pieces. • The rate of self-sufficiency will decrease from 103 % in 1999 to 96 % in 2012 (the impacts of the German directive are not included). • The EU will become a net importing region for shell eggs. • About 5 to 6 bill. € will be necessary until 2012 to fulfil the regulations of the directive. • About 12,300 jobs will be lost. Wolffram et al. 2002 ISPA
  • 18. Impacts of the new German directive: ______________________________________________ Structure of laying hen husbandry in Germany in 2002 ______________________________________________ Number of laying hens: 40.8 mill. In conventional cages: 83.9 % Laying rate: 285 eggs Free range: 8.6 % Laying rate: 250 eggs Floor management: 6.6 % Laying rate: 260 eggs Other systems: 0.8 % Laying rate: 240 eggs Egg production: 11.4 billion eggs Imports for human consumption: 4.1 bill. eggs ISPA
  • 19. Scenario 1: EU directive (1999/74/EC) becomes effective ________________________________________________ Reduction of the laying hen flock from 40.8 mill. to 35.7 mill. birds or by 13 %. Reduction of egg production from 11.4 to 9.9 bill. eggs. Decrease of the value of primary production by 200 mill. € and in associated industries by 100 mill. €. Loss of 666 jobs. Additional imports of 1.5 bill. eggs (total: 5.6 bill.). ISPA
  • 20. Scenario 2: Banning of conventional cages (2007) ________________________________________________ Reduction of the laying hen flock from 35.7 mill. to 19.6 mill. birds or by 45.1 %. Reduction of egg production from 9.9 to 5.0 bill. eggs. Decrease of the value of primary production by another 500 mill. € and in associated industries by 400 mill. €. Loss of another 3,200 jobs. Additional imports of another 4.9 bill. eggs (total: 10.5 bill.). ISPA
  • 21. Scenario 3: Enriched cages will be permitted in Germany ________________________________________________ Reduction of the laying hen flock from 35.7 mill. to 28.9 mill. birds or by 19 %. Reduction of egg production from 9.9 to 7.9. bill eggs. Decrease of the value of primary production by 200 mill. € and in associated industries by 200 mill. €. Loss of 1,700 jobs. Additional imports of 1.9 bill. eggs (total: 7.5 bill.). Necessary investments: 820 mill. €. ISPA
  • 22. An open future: _____________________________________________ • If the Secretary of Consumer Protection, Nutrition and Agriculture will not sign the altered directive of November 2003, conventional cages will be banned in 2007 and enriched in 2012. • It is still an open question if the German Supreme Court will open the court proceedings that have to decide about compensation payments. • A critical economic situation is expected for the poultry equipment suppliers and especially for egg producers in eastern Germany which installed new cages after reunification in 1990. ISPA
  • 23. Discussion: Further challenges for the egg and egg products industries ISPA
  • 24. Further challenges: _____________________________________________ • Globalisation of the markets for agricultural products • Product safety and quality assurance will become the leading driving forces in the future development of the markets for animal products and lead to the implementation of supply chains. • Aspects of animal welfare and environmental protection will gain in importance. • Biotechnology and gene-technology will open new ways in food design. ISPA
  • 25. Conclusion ISPA
  • 26. The problem of „cognitive dissonance“ and some open questions: _________________________________________________ • A majority of consumers dislike conventional cages in egg production, nevertheless more than 80 % of all eggs consumed in the EU stem from such farms. • Could it be that without legal regulations there would still be conventional cages in future because of the lower price of the eggs? • From their dislike of cages consumers often conclude that eggs from such systems are an unsafe product. • Could it be that the industry has not been able so far to transmit the message that the opposite is the case? ISPA
  • 27. Thank you for your attention! ISPA