Saturday, December 2, 2023

Time to celebrate – it’s National Chicken Month!

By David B. Strickland Poultry Times editor

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GAINESVILLE, Ga. — September is a great month. Do you know why?

College football has started back, sure; I’ll give you that one. But it is also National Chicken Month.

An industry economic impact study noted that the U.S. chicken industry provides more than 1.5 million jobs, almost $95 billion in wages and approximately $417 billion in national economic activity.

Chicken is a big deal.

Both nationally and internationally.

For this September, the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service provided a special feature on the nation’s chicken exports.

U.S. chicken exports equal about $4.4 billion and 16 percent of global production, FAS reports, adding that more than 145 different countries imported such items as frozen chicken leg quarters and thighs during the past year.

“As fall approaches, September celebrates the most-consumed meat in the United States: chicken. Two-thirds of U.S. chicken are raised in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Texas,” FAS said.

What is your favorite type of chicken product?

“While U.S. consumers prefer chicken breast meat, internationally dark meat is widely consumed and desired,” FAS added.

Chicken exports are also viewed by many nations as an affordable protein source.

FAS noted that while, “most U.S. chicken meat exports are often destined for low and middle-income countries which value safe, affordable, tasty, high-protein options – especially consumers searching for ways to improve their food and nutrition security at a time of rising food prices. In 2022, nearly all (95 percent) of U.S. broiler meat exports were destined for developing economies. Fourteen percent of shipments were exported to least developed countries.”

Chicken exports for the upcoming year are expected to continue to increase according to USDA, with top destinations being Canada, Mexico, China, Cuba, Angola, Guatemala, Taiwan, and the Philippines.

“Looking towards the future, chicken meat exports from the United States are expected to increase by 3 percent in 2024, thanks to increased production,” FAS said, adding that, “… USDA is committed to working with the U.S. poultry industry to ensure unhindered market access and continued success for America’s hardworking poultry producers.”

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