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.
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.
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% by 2050. This provides many opportunities for the egg industry to supply high quality affordable protein to help feed the growing population.
IEC award winners
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.
The next conference is being held in Vienna, Austria 30th March – 1st April, and then the IEC will meet for its Marketing & Production conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 14th – 18th September.