A marked success
Amid an environment made uncertain by the African Swine Fever (ASF) epidemic plaguing China, Vietnam and Cambodia, the 2019 Asian Agribiz Pig Feed Quality Conference successfully hosted 180 pig industry stakeholders from Asia and beyond for two days of strong presentations and discussions.
The event, held on April 24-25 at Bangkok’s Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park, kicked off with a presentation on ASF from Alan Dawson, Business Segment Head for Swine (Southeast Asia and South Korea) at Boehringer Ingelheim.
He noted that with a vaccine against the virus at least eight years away, the best way to protect a farm is to ensure it has effective biosecurity protocols in place. He also underscored the importance of reaching out and partnering not only with customers but other suppliers in the market, noting that all industry members are “in it together.”
Limited antibiotic use
The conference’s first session focused on managing disease and nutrition-with or without AGPs. Swine nutrition specialist Megan Edwards offered participants strategies to address the challenges faced by pig producers in the tropics.
She noted that while the use of AGPs is on the way out, antibiotics will continue to have a role in maintaining health and welfare of pigs. The key is to be responsible in their use so that antibiotics will remain effective for livestock and humans.
Other session speakers agree that without AGPs, pig producers must implement a holistic program for which, the end goal is to ensure and maintain the pig’s gut, its biggest immune organ, that involves biosecurity, management and nutritional tools.
“This is the fourth conference I’ve attended and it is the best so far. I gained detailed and updated information on nutrition, which will help me in improving pig health and pork meat quality. It gave me a holistic approach to animal nutrition, and will help me decide on what nutrition support I can give to customers.” – Nguyen Van Tam, Technology Application Manager, Cargill Vietnam Ltd, Vietnam
“The conference was a good opportunity for me to widen my network and meet professional stakeholders in the industry. I got updated with the latest situation in the regional and international markets. Sound technical information is important to make proper decisions in pig farming. I plan to keep attending the conference in the future.” – Trieu Nguyen, Business Development Manager, Nor-Feed SRS, Vietnam
“I’ve attended Asian Agribiz’ feed conferences several times and have always found them very helpful. I am looking forward to attending future conferences and hearing more detailed information and discussions about developments in pig nutrition and production.” – Amie Galban, Nutrition Consultant, Philippines
“This is my first time at the conference, and I found it very informative and relevant, especially the trends that the industry and the market in Asia will be going through in coming years. What is important is that we see the direction from major companies like food safety and others taken into consideration.” – Art Roxas, President, Ariela Marketing Co Inc, Philippines.
I participate in the Pig Feed Quality Conference every year because of new themes and topics. This year’s theme focusing on the ban on antibiotics is very interesting. Learning about new additives will be beneficial to my work as part of the nutritional team as we are working to develop high quality feed products – Chananchida Sangngamruang, Technician and Nutritional Team Member, Krung Thai Foods
It is unfortunate that I missed the first day of the conference. However, the morning session of the second day on the topic ‘Impacting meat quality through nutrition’ is interesting and will be beneficial to my work. –Thipwadee Pooldech, Nutritionist (Swine and Poultry), Betagro Group
Even people from sales can benefit from this conference. I got to know more about our clients and the industry. As a supplier, many of our target audience are here so we will be able to learn what kind of feed and meat quality they would like to produce and introduce to the consumer market. We also can think about any related marketing activities for our clients. However, time is of essence here. Next time, I will be attending the networking session so that I will have more opportunity to talk with several other potential clients. – Kittiyot Kongsawat, Industry Sales Manager, Foss South East Asia
“I always attend the broiler and layer conferences but this is the first time I attended the Pig Feed Quality Conference. I found it interesting and important because now I am responsible for both poultry and swine feed for our company. I found especially the piglet nutrition important because of the importance of this stage in the life of the pig. I would like to attend this conference every year.” – Artiningsih, Poultry and Swine Specialist, P.T. Fenanza Putra Perkasa
“This is the first time I attended the Pig Feed Quality Conference. I thought it very informative and it was good to learn about the developments in pig nutrition. I found the session on meat quality interesting because it can help me teach producers about the different factors that affect it, not just nutrition so they won’t blame the feeds all the time.” – Sahera Nofyantri, Country Nutritionist Manager, P.T. Gold Coin Indonesia
“It is my first time to attend the Pig Feed Quality Conference and it really benefits my work. The nutritional levels and types of organic and inorganic feed that could affect saturated and non-saturated fat level in the pork products were among the interesting information I could bring back home to develop the right pork products for our consumers.” – Yu Insan, Research and Development Director, Hope Livestock Co Ltd, South Korea
Consumers call the shots
Rounding off the first day was David Hughes, Emeritus Professor of Food Marketing at Imperial College London, who noted that one of the current consumer trends in food is the growing demand for more ready-to-cook or ready-to-eat meals. He said the market is increasingly being driven by younger consumers, who are asking not only for safe and high quality food, but for those that are produced sustainably and with animal welfare in mind.
This was echoed in part by Daryl D’Souza, Executive General Manager of SunPork Solutions, who said pork quality would be defined with a focus on and determined by consumer preference. A successful premium pork product must have the attributes that are called for by target customers and must have a marketing strategy that clearly translates these attributes at point of sale.
Boosting piglet health
One of the most stressful stage in a pig’s life is weaning. It is important to help the piglet go through the weaning period successfully for it to perform well in later stages, and to do it without AGPs.
Piglets are now weaned at between 16-28 days of age, when they are still physiologically and immunologically immature. Session speakers presented various strategies to help the piglet develop a healthy gut.
Julian Wiseman, Professor of Animal Production at the University of Nottingham, underscored the importance of having a holistic concept of gut health, noting that feeds and additives should be selected to favor conditions in the gut that create and stabilize the balance between the host, the microflora and the environment.
Overall, delegates expressed satisfaction with the latest edition of the Pig Feed Quality Conference, and expressed interest to join future conferences.
Panel discussions that concluded each session allowed participants to direct additional questions to the speakers. Further encounter and networking with speakers and colleagues from other countries happened during the coffee breaks and the ‘Meet the Speakers’ cocktail party at the end of Day 1.
Helping to lighten things up was the draw for dinner-for-two at the hotel’s Goji Restaurant, won by Vuong Nguyen Minh Thu from Vietnam and Antonio Furiscal from the Philippines.
At the end of the conference, Huan Jet Lee, a nutritionist from Masan Nutri-Science of Vietnam, won a raffled book ‘Achieving Sustainable Production of Pig Meat Volume 3: Animal Health and Welfare’, edited by Dr Wiseman and published by Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing Ltd.
This year’s conference, originally scheduled to be held in Ho Chi Minh City, was moved to Bangkok in light of the ASF outbreak in Vietnam. It was sponsored by AB Vista, Addiseo, Animine, APC, Aveve, DSM, EW Nutrition and Phileo.