More than 300 people - including U.S. and Chinese government officials and representatives from the U.S. and Chinese poultry and feed grains industries - gathered in Beijing November 10-18 for the inaugural Sino-U.S. Poultry Industry Forum. The forum marks the first time that the U.S. poultry, soybean and grains industries have come together with the Chinese poultry industry for bilateral dialogue on key issues and imminent challenges such as food security, food safety and sustainability.

Co-sponsored by UIPDP (USAPEEC International Poultry Development Program) and the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC), the U.S.-China forum preceded two industry-to-industry workshops in Vietnam aimed at strengthening the relationship between the U.S. and Vietnamese poultry industries. More than 250 people took part in those workshops in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

Supported by USDA and the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), the U.S.-China Forum was co-organized by the UIPDP with assistance from the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC), the U.S. Grains Council, the Food and Agriculture Export Alliance (FAEA), the China Animal Agriculture Association (CAAA) and the China Chamber of Commerce of Foodstuffs and Native Produce (CFNA).

Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse was among a group of high-level officials from USDA, MOA, the General Administration for Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) and the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) to take part in the Beijing forum.

In his remarks, Scuse said the forum was a milestone by which to measure the advancement of the strong relationship that is developing between the U.S. poultry and feed sectors and their Chinese counterparts.

USAPEEC / UIPDP President Jim Sumner said that the forum "symbolizes that our industries are well integrated and rely on close cooperation and a working relationship that assures that poultry is produced in a safe, sustainable and environmentally friendly manner. The wide range of Chinese and U.S. organizations that are supporting this forum shows that poultry quality and safety begins at the farm, but it is the responsibility of every segment of the food chain to enhance and assure that safety is maintained and improved all the way to consumption."

Speakers included Dr. Don Jackson, former CEO of Pilgrim's and JBS USA; Gordon Butland, noted international protein economist; Dr. Sarge Bilgili, an Auburn University poultry scientist; Dr. Shelly McKee, director of technical programs at USAPEEC, Sumner and numerous other U.S. and Chinese experts on food safety and bio-security.

The Vietnam workshops, meanwhile, were more production-oriented, focusing on best management practices to help the Vietnamese industry achieve its food safety goals. Sponsored by UIPDP and USSEC, the workshops attracted the full support of USDA and the Vietnamese Poultry Association (VIPA).

The relationship between USAPEEC and VIPA began in 2005, when USAPEEC arranged for the industry to donate two containers of U.S. chicken leg quarters that were auctioned to help finance VIPA's educational program for its members to battle highly pathogenic avian influenza.

Workshops included talks on best management practices by Jackson and Joon Wong of OSI, along with presentations by Dr. Tran Cong Xuan, president of VIPA; Dr. Dau Ngoc Hao and Nguyen Xuan Duong of the Vietnam Department of Livestock Production; along with talks by Sumner and McKee. Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Brian Ronholm also participated in the Hanoi workshop, while Dwight Wilder, agricultural attaché, participated in the Ho Chi Minh City workshop.