Food Chain

Market Pressures

The delicate balance of competing forces

What consumers want can sometimes conflict with what the bird needs. Helping customers make knowledgeable decisions is a job that becomes harder as external pressures increase, but because these commitments can impact your organization’s ability to do business, that job has never been more important.


Poultry has the benefit of being a very vertically integrated industry. Often, that connection helps us evolve as we leverage shared learnings to improve our systems and processes. However, that integration can also lead to challenges when decisions are made without considering how they might impact the rest of the production cycle.

“Every decision in this business has consequences — antibiotic reduction impacts Salmonella prevalence, and rate of growth impacts housing numbers, which increases our environmental footprint,” says Patrick Pilkington, D.V.M., Elanco. “That’s not to say we shouldn’t provide choices, but it’s important that we understand how those choices affect our growers and the industry as a whole.”

"Sometimes we have to slow down to speed up. It’s going to take a cooperative effort to pull in the right people at the right time to make sure we’re making the best decisions for the entire operation."

As clean labeling, testing guidelines and other consumer and regulatory demands increase, solutions that helped our industry set the standard are under increased pressure. Now, more than ever, it’s important that we continue to help consumers make the connection between innovation and food safety.

“That is something we've struggled with as an industry — how do we communicate about new technology we're utilizing so consumers are confident we're delivering a safer product but also feel more comfortable with the way their food is being raised," says Sara Steinlage, D.V.M., Chief Veterinary Officer for Elanco.

"I think we're still trying to understand how these new consumer demands are ultimately going to impact food safety."


Industry leadership organizations

  • National Chicken Council (NCC)
  • National Turkey Federation (NTF)
  • Meat Institute
  • US Egg & Poultry United Egg Producers (UEP)

Safe food handling techniques

  • Temperature maintenance and monitoring
  • Food preparation protocols
  • Transportation and storage protocols

More Resources


Breeder/Hatchery - Breeder Flock Management