Rural poultry in Europe:
a significant level of production with a strong social role

Rural poultry in Europe : a significant level of production with a strong social role

Rural poultry is highly diverse in nature and varies according to the country: Family poultry, Young stock sold alive directly or at markets, Poultry sold with national quality certification, under PGI or PDO, or reared organically, Free range poultry produced by organised outlets, etc.

ERPA's News

12 February 2015: ERPA’s General Assembly meeting at Bucharest (Hôtel Pheonicia):
Public Assembly and roundtable: « Rural poultry: support for family farming in Europe »

8 December 2015: Mission of ERPA to DG SANTE
A delegation of ERPA met several units of DG SANTE at the European Commission on draft regulations on animal health, hygiene and official controls to adapt some rules to rural poultry sector. ERPA asked particularly:
- Simplified traceability rules taking into account the multiplicity of actors
- The adaptation of approval procedures, inspection and microbiological monitoring rules for small local abattoirs
- The definition of adapted microbiological hygiene criteria.

25 February 2015: Meeting with Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan's Cabinet
ERPA met two advisors of the Commissioner for Agriculture, Phil Hogan, to present to them their main positions on the proposal for a new European regulation on organic farming, as well as the revision of marketing standards in poultry.

20 February 2014: ERPA General Assembly in Zaragoza
Bringing together many of the stakeholders in European and Spanish rural poultry farming, this GA was a chance to report on ERPA's first eight years of work, and to discuss the current challenges in global poultry farming, in the presence of MEP Esther Herranz-Garcia, European Commission representative Maria Pittman, and representatives from the Spanish authorities.


December 2014: Revision of marketing standards in poultry meat
Following the publication of Single CMO Regulation 1308/2013 at the end of 2013, the marketing standards must be rewritten, including marketing standards in poultry (regulation n° 543/2008). This is an opportunity to simplify the texts.
Nevertheless, ERPA considers it essential to maintain existing standards concerning methods of production, for labelling, limitations on endorsements, and the conditions for their use. The development of alternative poultry over the last 20 years has been thanks to the 1991 European regulation, which provided clear segmentation and labelling. It would be extremely dangerous for these productions if existing measures were threatened.


2014 : New proposal for a European regulation on organic farming
At the end of March 2014, Commissioner Dacian Ciolos presented the Commission's proposal for a new European regulation on organic farming, with the objective of "improving the legislation, making it more efficient, adapted to new realities, ensuring the long-term credibility of the sector".
This project proposes significant evolutions for poultry production: an end to mixed farming, 100% organic feed, 60% poultry feed sourced from the region, an obligation to use organic breeding stock, mandatory access to the outdoors for pullets, etc.
Although ERPA approves of the Commission's objectives, the Association considers that the proposal does not allow maintenance of the current good development of organic poultry production, and does not take into account the local particularities of the various organic sectors in Europe. ERPA therefore proposes amendments to the project, in order to guarantee continued progress in organic poultry production, whilst still offering consumers quality products that strongly respect the environment and animal welfare.


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An association to defend support and develop the production of rural poultry

The last sanitary crisis put the spotlight on rural poultry in all the countries of the European Union. During these periods of crisis, the European Commission and the Member States imposed restrictions on flocks…