With increased avian influenza detections around the world wreaking havoc on global poultry trade, the virus will be among the chief topics of discussion when members of the International Poultry Council (IPC) convene in April in Rome for the organisation’s first semester conference.
A top veterinary official with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) will give an in-depth update to IPC members on the most active season in several years for occurrences of highly pathogenic avian influenza.
Much of the discussion at the conference will be on influenza-related import restrictions on poultry trade. Particularly alarming is the impact of these restrictions on the international shipment of breeding stock, which is causing supply shortages in some countries and preventing producers from replenishing their poultry flocks.
Members will also discuss the progress of the concept of compartmentalisation, developed by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) to limit the impact on trade of influenza restrictions.
From the economics side of the issue, Dr Nan-Dirk Mulder, associate director for commodities at Rabobank, will give a presentation on the impact of influenza-related trade bans on global poultry meat trade.
Other speakers include Bart Blomme, director of global meat management at the Metro AG, the world's fifth largest international supermarket chain, whose presentation will cover global poultry retail, with an emphasis on sustainability; and Carlo Prevedini, CEO of the Amadori Group, a leading Italian poultry producer and processor, who will give a report on the Italian industry.
Also, Mark Smith of Leadership Resource Institute, will lead a discussion of the IPC's strategic plan and the organization's "road map" for the future.
Hosted by Unaitalia, the Italian meat, poultry and egg association, the meeting will be April 15-17 at the Ambasciatori Palace hotel in Rome.