Australia’s chicken meat industry is one of the most efficient in the world.

Through targeted high-impact RD&E projects, the AgriFutures Australia Chicken Meat Program will achieve significant benefits to industry designed to maintain its position as the number one consumed meat in the country.

Key components of the program

Key components of the Chicken Meat Program are increasing productivity and efficiency of production, and delivering safe food and good animal welfare outcomes.

AgriFutures Australia has invested in two new positions – an Extension Officer and a Research Development Officer – to improve the reciprocal flow of information between RD&E and industry.

About the industry

The Australian chicken meat industry is worth $2.7 billion (gross value of production 2015-16), with a retail value of around $6.6 billion.

Growth in production and demand for free range chicken meat has been particularly strong over the past five years (approximately 15% of the total market) and this trend is expected to continue.

Chicken meat production in Australia is dominated by a small number of large, vertically integrated, privately owned businesses. These companies typically contract out the growing of their chickens to independent chicken growers. Approximately 800 contract growers rear about 80% of Australia’s meat chickens.

The industry has a strong presence in rural and regional communities, directly employing about 40,000 people with a further 100,000 jobs dependent on chicken meat production. The chicken meat industry purchases around five per cent of all grain grown in Australia.

The industry has many opportunities to capitalise on chicken meat’s modest environmental footprint and to further reduce its environmental impacts and emissions.

Continuous improvement, including RD&E to optimise flock performance, efficiency and industry productivity, will be required to enable chicken meat to retain its favourable position as the most affordable and popular meat on the domestic market.


The program is funded by statutory levies paid by industry participants. This levy revenue is matched by AgriFutures Australia at up to 0.5% of GVP.

AgriFutures Australia is an essential participant in the Poultry Hub. The Chicken Meat Program also collaborates with other rural research and development corporations.

Research investments are guided by the Chicken Meat R&D Advisory Panel.

RD&E plan

The industry’s current RD&E objectives are clear:

  • Increase the productivity and efficiency of chicken meat production
  • Deliver safe food and good animal welfare outcomes
  • Manage the environment for sustainable development
  • Create foundations for the future, including capacity and market insight
  • Ensure research adoption via extension and communication.


Ashley Radburn
Program Manager, Research & Innovation
02 6923 6907
0438 495 325

Australian Chicken Meat Federation

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