ANALYSIS - The general assembly of a.v.e.c., the European association of poultry producers and processors, was described as the "most successful ever" by the organisation's outgoing President, Jan Odink in Naples, Italy today, 21 September. Senior editor, Jackie Linden, reports from the meeting.
In his welcome speech to delegates to the 55th General Assembly of a.v.e.c., Mr Odink said that around 120 delegates were present at the meeting in the city of Naples, representing 14 European countries. Adding his welcome was Aldo Muraro, president of UNA, the Italian poultry producers' association, which hosted the meeting.
Mr Odink started the meeting by highlighting the most important trends and developments in the European poultry meat industry, as he summarised the latest annual report from a.v.e.c.
Meat inspection, food safety and consumer health related to the poultry industry were then outlined by Dr Marta Hugas, who is Head of the unit of Biological Hazards and Food Hygiene (BIOHAZ) at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
Herbert Aichinger, Adviser for Sustainable Resources Management at the European Commission DG Environment, spoke about Sustainable Resources Management, focussing on sustainable production, consumption, eco-labelling and food waste.
Dr Romano Marabelli, Head of the Veterinary Public Health Department at the Italian Ministry of Health made the first presentation, in which he outlined his views on the future of the poultry meat industries in Italy and the EU generally. He identified Salmonella control and the proposed rules on electrical stunning as issues that need to be addressed in the near future.
Rabobank's forecasts for the outlook and trade of the poultry meat industry, both globally and in Europe, were covered by Nan-Dirk Mulder. 'Shaping the future in volatile times' was the theme of his presentation and he offered his analysis on how the EU industry can survive and overcome the challenges of high and volatile feed prices when retailers exert pressure by keeping prices low.
Last but not least on the day's programme came Francesco Avanzini, Commercial Director of CONAD, Italy's No. 2 food retailer. He shared with the audience CONAD's vision regarding poultry meat trends and demand, explaining the success his organisation has had by developing a private label for fresh poultry, which gives consumers assurances over the quality and origin of the meat.
Before the meeting closed, the newly elected President of a.v.e.c., Federico Felix of Spain, introduced himself to the audience and stressed his commitment to the organisation, also thanking Mr Odink for his service as President over recent years. Mr Odink will remain an officer of a.v.e.c., as one of its vice presidents.