Structures and organization of the poultry meat sectors in Europe: Compared analysis of the German, British, Spanish, Dutch and Belgian sectors

Within the European Union, the dynamics of the poultry meat sectors are very different depending on the Member States and reflect various levels of competitiveness. The structural and organizational characteristics of five national chains, contributing significantly to European production, were analyzed: Germany, UK, Spain, The Netherlands and Belgium. The diversity of the situations characterizing the main poultry meat sectors in the EU was highlighted through three main areas: characteristics of national markets; structures of the farms and industrial tools; level of integration of the stakeholders and relationships between farmers, manufacturers and retailers. Although a strong vertical coordination seems favorable to the overall optimization of the supply chain, the financial integration of the various stakeholders is, however, not necessary, as long as some long-term technical and commercial partnerships between the stakeholders exist. In an increasingly unstable and difficult economy, the ability of firms and sectors to anticipate demand, through product innovation and adapted market segmentation, and to manage price volatility, will determine their level of competitiveness. This capacity will be increased by flexible organizational models, working just in time to avoid overcapacity and overproduction. A downstream management, directly connected with final demand, and strong partnerships between industry segments appear to be favorable to the competitiveness and sustainability of the sectors.