European-Thai dialogue in the poultry industry – 7th Congress of the European Poultry Club (EPC) in Bangkok (Thailand)
The 7th Congress of the European Poultry Club (EPC) was held in Bangkok, Thailand, from 15 to 19 February 2016. President of Cobb Vantress (USA) Jerry Moye spoke about the construction of poultry housing, which is also becoming increasingly difficult in the USA. In his forecast of trends in the global poultry meat market, he cited the USA and Brazil as the leading export nations. Moye predicted that developments in cereal markets in particular will have a positive impact on poultry meat production in 2016. He went on to say that the use of modern technologies will be vitally important to feed the growing population, but to achieve this, the industry will have to find ways to enter into dialogue with consumers.
The main focus of the EPC Congress was the exchange of ideas and experiences between European and Thai poultry industry representatives. After the official welcome by Suthep Vongroen, chairman of the Thai Breeder Association and president of the Thai Husbandry Association, the sixty or so attendees discussed latest trends, production parameters and marketing opportunities.
Then David Santos from the Poultry Promotion Association of Thailand talked about the growth of the poultry sector in Thailand, describing the Thai hen as a jewel and the Thai poultry industry as having a resilient, diamond-like structure.
He used examples to explain how the sector repeatedly learned from crises such as avian influenza to emerge stronger from the experience. In his view, this was largely due to the close cooperation between industry and government.
Michael Seidel from the company “Lohman Tierzucht Deutschland” gave an overview of the European and global egg market. He started by describing the different production systems: Whilst cage systems still dominate in large parts of the world, including Thailand, free range product systems were becoming more prevalent in Germany and the Netherlands.
He also focused on the effect of avian influenza on the egg market, stressing that it was not possible to eradicate the virus completely because the pathogen is transmitted by wild bird populations. Latin America has so far remained unaffected. In contrast, the extent of losses in the USA were greater than the United Kingdom’s entire annual egg production.
Dr. Payungsak Somyanontanagul from the Thai Broiler Processing Exporters Association stated in his speech that Thailand was the 8th largest poultry meat producer worldwide and the 4th largest exporter. The main export markets were Japan with 325,000 t and the EU with 280,000 t (2015 figures) He cited the vertical integration of production and the use of international food safety and quality standards as the key to the industry’s success.
In his concluding speech EPC President Gerhard Wagner underlined the value of the exchange between Thailand and Europe and said that a direct dialogue between companies and experts illustrated the difference in production conditions. He highlighted husbandry conditions and policy frameworks in particular.
Impressions gleaned from the conference proceedings were confirmed by visits to leading poultry meat and egg producers.