British Poultry Council chief executive Richard Griffiths said the sector must let candidates know the benefits of the sector for their communities.
Poultry farmers must unite to ‘cut through the hyperbole’ and demonstrate the positive effects the sector has on communities and the wider economy.
Amid Brexit negotiations and ahead of the General Election, British Poultry Council chief executive Richard Griffiths said it was down to the industry to highlight the benefits poultry businesses bring to the economy as voters prepare to go to the polls in June.
He said labour and trade were the key priorities for the sector over the next few months, adding 37,300 people were directly employed by the industry, but that 60 per cent of these were from outside the UK.
But Mr Griffiths said there was an opportunity for the sector to put itself ‘on the table as a career option’ to attract and develop local labour.
“We want to give local politicians something they can get behind as an option for young people in their constituencies,” said Mr Griffiths.
“When we talk about poultry, farming and butchery may be the first things people think of, but there are large businesses behind those jobs.
“They need what any business needs: management, finance, logistics, administration. This is what provides employment in constituencies, and we need to make sure the candidates know it.”
The value of poultry meat production rose by £23 million according to the latest Total Income from Farming figures for the UK, topping £2.2 billion.
He added future trade deals were important to open up export markets for cuts not consumed in the UK and to import breast meat to meet demand.
“At a local level, those constituencies with poultry meat production in them need healthy businesses for a healthy local economy, particularly if it happens to be a large employer in the area,” said Mr Griffiths.
“Support for that business by an MP can provide crucial community cohesion and promote positive and constructive relationships.”