Retirement of an Aviagen 'Veteran'

UK - Alan Goodwin to step down after 45 years in poultry industry
calendar icon 13 May 2009
clock icon 4 minute read

One of the global poultry industry's most respected contributors, Alan Goodwin, is to retire after 45 years of service to the industry, 30 of them spent working with Aviagen products.

Alan enjoyed a long and varied career in the industry, which took him into all parts of the world. After successfully completing his studies at Harper Adams Agricultural College in 1962, Alan spent a number of years in the feed industry before joining Ross Breeders in 1975 as sales manager for the African continent. A highlight of Alan's time in Africa was when he was contracted by the United Nations in the mid 1970s to develop a plan for the nation of Lesotho to become self-reliant for poultry breeding.

Alan remembers this as one of the most satisfying moments of his career. He said: "The UN's work involved assisting the world's poorest countries to help them become self-sufficient. In parts of the world desperately short of food, the chance to use the knowledge that we have gained in our industry to produce good-quality, affordable protein in areas where it is so much needed is rewarding beyond words."

His strong allegiance with Aviagen products started in 1983, when Alan worked with Arbor Acres, initially in the UK and Eire, and then in Pakistan and Eastern Europe. In 1997, he moved to the Ross product range and lived in Hungary for a year and was instrumental in the establishment of what was to become Aviagen Kft, Aviagen's Hungarian operation. His latest job as Regional Sales Manager for Western Europe gave Alan responsibilities for Aviagen's successful business in Europe as well as business development roles for the booming industry of Russia.

Alan shares his impressions of the poultry industry’s history. He said: "The problems of the early industry were mainly concerned with learning to cope with intensification and with disease control. The advances in vaccines have made an unbelievable difference; particularly the introduction of Marek's vaccine has probably changed the industry more than any other factor.

"The industry continues to change; it seems to me that it becomes ever increasingly more technical. Perhaps it was easier to solve the earlier, more basic, problems than it is to cope with the fine details that now seem to face us. More likely is that it needs younger, fresher minds on the job and that the brain has slowed in symmetry with the rest of the body!"

Alan's retirement and his contributions to the poultry industry and Aviagen's global success were celebrated during a dinner with colleagues and customers in Edinburgh. Alan was presented with paintings and a commemorative picture frame, depicting some of Alan's memories during his time with Aviagen, by his colleagues in recognition of his service to the industry.

Nick Spenceley, General Manager, Aviagen Kft, commented: "When I look back on my own career and those who have been most influential and a mentor to me, Alan stands out. Alan has years of experience starting from the beginning of the industry.

I am sure anyone who has had the pleasure of working with Alan would join me in wishing him a long and happy retirement."

Alan Goodwin responded: "Thank you to all those who I have met on my travels and all those who helped me have such a rewarding career. Favourite moments have been many. Good and lasting friendships with many people around the world have been particularly valued. Despite the huge growth over the years, the poultry industry is still one of a comparatively small number of people, many of these being exceptionally talented and the majority being truly great characters."

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