Brexit, Covid-19, international trade deals, inflationary pressures, avian influenza and the atrocities being faced in the Ukraine have all created an unstable business environment, the like of which we have not known before. Therefore, decisions about growing and investing in a farm business are challenging.

Most poultry farmers are seeking similar goals, efficiency, sustainability and profitability. However, with external forces and inflationary pressure at play, having the disposable income for investment into new poultry housing involves weighing up the pros and cons.

Poultry farmers know that when building new poultry housing it’s a decision which will affect the business for decades to come. Lasting design, functionality and whole life costing considerations all have to be taken into account. Based in Herefordshire, Stephen Jaques and his brother Chris have unrivalled knowledge of construction in the poultry industry. The Jaques family have been successfully designing and constructing high quality poultry buildings nationwide for over 40 years. This is a conundrum they assist many in the industry with, whether it be new or refurbished buildings.

Stephen Jaques, Managing Director of Jaques Int Limited, said: “We know that from initial design and construction, and every phase of the building’s lifecycle, construction must be sustainable, energy efficient and provide long term performance for consistent productivity and return on investment.”

Stephen continues: “Despite the unprecedented challenges farmers are facing at this time, there is still significant demand for new buildings.  Part of our role in the design and construction process is to help assess the long-term value of the project, not just the cost. All new structures present opportunities to reduce environmental impact, in both the construction process and the lasting design and functionality of the building.

“Design strategies and integrated technologies that have the potential to reduce energy use whilst mitigating associated GHG emissions and other environmental and resource use impacts are important considerations before construction.

The large energy requirement for heating, ventilation, lighting and feeding in poultry units means simple energy efficiency measures can yield significant savings. This may be small comfort when the costs of production are at an all-time high but building in any opportunity to save on costs is imperative and any enhancement in energy savings which contribute to improving carbon footprint and a reduction in greenhouse gases all serve to meet the challenges of legislation imposed to create greener future.

Stephen concludes: “To build or not to build? Yes, these are very uncertain times but as with any business sector, progressive development will be ongoing. Food security is a global challenge which is not going away so despite a landscape of volatility wherever we look, forward progression with farming and investment in continued growth is likely to ride the storm over the long term.”