South Africa is the largest poultry market on a continent of just more than 1 billion people with an average per capita consumption rate of 4 kilograms, less than one-third of the global average. Cape Town proved to be an excellent location to have a meeting for the Ross distributors and to consider current trends and review regional market opportunities in the future.
The meeting commenced with an Aviagen review which highlighted investment and growth in some of the larger poultry markets globally. Population growth, poultry demand and consumption in Turkey, Middle East and Africa (TMEA) were identified and assessed along with regional company investments to meet the growth and compete against imported product. Although poultry meat prices have risen steadily since 2007, it is still the cheapest mainstream meat in most markets, giving local fresh and frozen product an opportunity to compete and help internal country development. Bench marking highlighted that the regional Ross product performance was very similar to the recorded global average.
A presentation on health of distributor production, with particular emphasis on testing and laboratory support standards to allow more inter-company movement of parent stock was well supported by a subsequent presentation on a number of widely spread regional diseases, effective vaccination programs and bio-security measures required to maintain production levels.
An interesting visual tour of the new Aviagen hatchery at Elmadag in Turkey revealed a recent addition in the long term investment strategy of the company. A review of future support for distributors to more effectively get key messages to customers in the region was outlined in the Ross marketing strategy. The emphasis then switched to an update of world commodity markets, a look at under lying causes and the prediction that volatility will continue while the industry remains challenged to transfer these costs into higher meat prices in most markets. Under these conditions, production efficiency looms as an increasingly important factor in the management and viability of future businesses.
The following morning involved a tour of a local processing plant which demonstrated the product mix being produced by a leading company for the South African market.
The second day of the meeting opened with an in-depth review of the Middle East and African markets, which highlighted clearly production, consumption and trade are at very different stages of development in many of the individual countries in TMEA. The meeting then focused on detailed market presentations from distributors in Zambia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran and also by Aviagen Anadolu in Turkey.
"This is an important annual meeting for the Ross regional team and our distributor partners as we review business and product performance in TMEA, assess the opportunities that lie ahead and share experiences and best practices. The interaction and feedback is always beneficial to us all," commented John Maguire, sales manager, Ross Middle East and Africa.