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IEC Cape Town Post Conference Report

12 November 2013

SOUTH AFRICA - 400 delegates from 31 different countries, gathered in Cape Town at the end of September for the International Egg Commission’s annual Marketing & Production Conference.

The conference brought together the leaders and decision makers from egg businesses all around the globe, discussing the latest opportunities and developments taking place within the egg industry. Delegates discussed the challenges and opportunities facing egg producers, including feed costs and regulations; they also shared their practical experiences on how to maximise marketing strategies to increase egg consumption. The IEC Cape Town conference also saw the introduction of a new item to the conference programme, The IEC Leadership Lecture, and delegates had the extraordinary opportunity to hear from Nobel Prize winner, and former president of South Africa, F.W. de Klerk.

The ability to manage change is the key to success

The theme of F.W de Klerk’s inspirational lecture to the IEC was, The management of change: Lessons drawn from the transformation of South Africa: he explained that change is both inevitable and unpredictable, and that it is happening today at an unprecedented speed. He told the IEC that: “Success belongs to those that will adjust to the changing markets and conditions affecting their industry – those that can imagine something new and better”.

Mr de Klerk also told the IEC delegates that to be successful, a leader must first accept the need for change, and then learn how to manage the changes effectively. However, he warned that the process of change never ends, explaining: “As soon as you have achieved your objectives you must begin to address the next challenges that change will inevitably throw down.”

The egg industry is well positioned to face challenge of volatility

Nan-Dirk Mulder, from Rabobank, also discussed the challenges that the egg industry is currently facing due to change - changes in feed prices, economic markets, political situations, even the weather. Nan-Dirk told the IEC that although volatility in all of these areas will continue to provide major challenges, it is important to remember that the egg industry is very well positioned as an affordable, efficient form of animal protein. As the global population continues to increase, and the demand for animal protein rises, Nan-Dirk told the conference that figures show that globally, eggs and poultry are the fastest growing sources of protein. However, Nan-Dirk Mulder also reiterated a key message that delegates have discussed at previous conferences – the need to produce more food, from less resources. He reinforced to the IEC audience that one of the biggest challenges facing us globally, is the need to ensure better yields and higher food efficiency, despite the declining availability of agricultural land.

Africa and Asia continuing to emerge to meet demand for eggs

Nan-Dirk Mulder told IEC delegates that as the population continues to rise, in Africa and Asia in particular, he fully expects to see continued growth in these markets, a pattern confirmed by Professor Hans-Wilhelm Windhorst and Dr Barbara Grabkowsky’s latest Egg Atlas, showing the patterns of egg production and trade around the world. During the IEC conference, Dr Grabkowsky presented the findings of their latest Egg Atlas. Since 1991 Asia has played an increasingly prominent role in egg production; Dr Grabkowsky explained that by 2011, almost two thirds of the eggs produced globally came from Asia. Looking to the future, Professor Windhorst and Dr Grabkowsky believe that egg production levels will be dictated by demand, and that we should expect to see a further increase in production levels in Africa and Asia as the population in these regions continues to grow.

Dr Grabkowsky explained that the population in Sub-Saharan Africa is predicted to increase by 128 per cent by 2050. This provides many opportunities for the egg industry to supply high quality affordable protein to help feed the growing population.

Maximising marketing strategies and sharing best practice

During the IEC Cape Town conference, delegates heard from highly acclaimed marketing experts who shared their experiences and offered valuable advice on how to maximise marketing opportunities within the egg industry. This included a Showcase of Marketing Eggsellence, where members presented some of their most recent marketing campaigns and Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. This year’s presentations were particularly inspiring. Delegates heard from Masanda Peter from the South African Poultry Association (SAPA); Masanda explained how SAPA is working closely with schools and health organisations in South Africa to increase egg consumption and promote the health benefits of eggs. SAPA’s recent campaign has reached more than 280,000 school children and donated over 317,000 eggs. It has also targeted pregnant women and mothers, helping them to understand the benefits of eating eggs and sharing recipe ideas and cooking demonstrations.

The Australian Egg Corporation (AECL) has also been actively promoting eggs in schools. Working with primary schools, AECL has held educational programmes across Australia helping children understand more about their food.

Each year the IEC recognises outstanding achievements and individuals from within the industry. The 2013 IEC Award winners were announced during the Gala Dinner. DQY, from China won the Crystal Egg Award for its CSR initiative to use waste products to provide energy; American Egg Board was the proud winner of the Golden Egg Award, in recognition of its successful marketing campaign to increase awareness and sales of eggs during the Easter period. Pace Farm in Australia won the Clive Frampton Egg Products Company of the year award, and Andrew Joret, from the UK, was awarded the highly prestigious International Egg Person of the Year Award, in recognition of his outstanding work and commitment to the international egg industry.

IEC welcomes new Chairman

During the closing ceremony of the IEC Cape Town conference the organisation welcomed Cesar de Anda to the role of Chairman of the IEC. Cesar succeeds Joanne Ivy, whose term of office ended at the close of the conference.

IEC conferences are held twice a year, and provide an excellent opportunity for leaders and decision makers from the global egg industry to meet and discuss the latest issues and challenges affecting our industry. They provide an excellent combination of formal meetings and social networking to help you further your business interests.

The next conference is being held in Vienna, Austria, 30 March – 1 April, and then the IEC will meet for its Marketing & Production conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 14 – 18 September.

ThePoultrySite News Desk





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