Financial managers from the poultry and egg industry came together earlier this week to discuss current issues impacting the industry at USPOULTRY's 2013 Financial Management Seminar held in Orlando, Fla.
Speakers Paul Fox, CEO of O.K. Industries, Inc., Dr. Paul Aho, economist for Poultry Perspective, and Deborah Perkins, managing director at Rabobank International, each shared opinions on the future of the industry and management's role in a changing economic landscape.
Aho noted that although the U.S. and other countries had a challenging last couple of years due to the drought, he was very optimistic about the future and believed that the United States was 'finding its second gear.'
"We're headed in a good direction after two bad years of low production. Supplies of corn and soybeans are increasing. There will be a reacceleration for the next couple of years," he noted.
Aho speculated that it was possible that poultry meat consumption will grow, especially in the developing world due to growing population and a growing middle class. He also expects grain and energy prices to come down as the world economy improves.
"That is the opposite of what occurred a few years ago during the recession, which is a sweet spot," he said.
Deborah Perkins, managing director at Rabobank International, in an overview of consumer eating trends, projected similarly that the growing populations in China, Inodnesia and India will increase the need for poultry trade.
Although food safety has been a concern, specifically in China, Perkins asserted that, "It won't last forever, and there will be growth going forward."
Perkins stressed that although the poultry industry has done a good job of educating the public, they still have to find ways to excite the consumers to keep buying the products.
She also highlighted the increasing influence of the millennial generation and how a different type of marketing will need to be tailored to entice them to continue purchasing poultry products.
Fox, in a discussion of accounting and financials, explained that management goes beyond "analysis of revenue drivers and cost drivers," bringing in his perspective of the acquisition of O.K. Industries, Inc. by Bachocho.
Fox worked to transition and streamline the financial direction of O.K. Foods in both the domestic and international market.
"There are those that fight the war, and there are those that report the war. In my view, in a chicken business the finance and accounting team report the war, and everyone else is fighting it," he said.