How Cobb is meeting the needs of a more and more sophisticated European market was the focus of a recent two-day seminar in the Polish spa and ski resort of Bialka Tatrzanska. The event was also a celebration of 100 years of Cobb.
The event was opened by Aldona van Krevel, Cobb market manager for Poland, and then James Truscott, director of Cobb Germany, spoke of the major capital commitment of Cobb in investing $15 million in expanding the European breeding operation in Herveld in the Netherlands with emphasis on meeting the needs of European customers and European environmental conditions.
He said that the success of this policy is shown in broiler results from Poland, Germany and the UK, illustrating the advantages of Cobb500. He pointed to the breed’s overall benefits including
excellent shell quality, hatch and number of chicks, feed conversion, daily weight gain, an easy-to-manage and flexible broiler, and processing performance with high breast fillet yield and fewer downgrades.
Rafael Gill, chief executive of Cobb Spain, recounted the success story of the company, with which he has been associated since 1995. Cobb Spain supplies Cobb500 breeders in five countries — Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia — with a market of 17.2 million parents. He said, “Our main goal today in Spain is to ask customers to judge on present, not past, results.”
Randy Borg, director of European genetics, stressed the importance of the European breeding program, focusing primarily on feed conversion and welfare in a European environment.
Winfridus Bakker, a breeder specialist from the in the Cobb World Technical Support Team, spoke of selections made in female and male lines to provide the breeder package needed for the European market, resulting in improved vitality and feed conversion in broilers with birds easier to grow and with healthier intestines.
Wout van Wolfswinkel, Cobb sales director in Western Europe, looked to the future. According to the FAO, he said, the world will need in 2050 to produce 70 percent more food and 90 percent of the food will come from technologies to increase productivity and profitability. He outlined how the strengths of Cobb500 breeders and broilers may lead to profitability.
Mathew Wilson, director of technical service for Cobb Europe, spoke about commercial tests with both breeders and broilers in Europe, Middle East and Africa, showing results of comparative hatch on the farm and in commercial hatcheries.
Edward Diehl, Cobb nutritionist and commercial trials manager, analyzed the flexibility of Cobb birds in responding to different nutrients levels.