More than 50 owners and senior managers of major poultry companies in the Western Balkans region took part in the second Cobb Poultry Business Forum organized by Cobb Germany, a distributor of Cobb-Vantress, Inc., and its local representative Iradia.

Jasmina Atlic, owner of Iradia, opened this year’s event, which centered on the value of brand image. Then Leopold Graf von Drechsel, general manager of Cobb Germany and Wimex, spoke of the experience of German companies in dealing with market trends, consumer pressure and welfare issues.

Slobodan Vasilic, marketing expert and chief executive of Neoplanta, talked about the basics of marketing, product branding and building a household name. Neoplanta is one of Serbia’s leading processing companies. Nan-Dirk Mulder from Holland presented his outlook of the European poultry industry up to 2020, referring to popular concepts used in differentiating products.

Predrag Milicic, chief executive of Agreks, spoke of his company’s success in marketing, achieving in an increased margin and preferred status with consumers. Agreks is the largest producer of table eggs in the region of the former Yugoslavia.

On the second day, the Cobb technical team addressed several topics: Dr. Ron Meijerhof on incubation and its effect on chick quality and broiler performance; Edward Diehl on nutrition and wheat inclusion in broiler diets; and Patrick van Trijp on finer points of chick processing.

Veterinarian Matthias Todte reminded the participants of basics of biosecurity, a subject always important but especially so in times of avian influenza outbreaks across Europe.

Dr. James Truscott, director of Cobb Germany, closed the seminar, saying the company's focus on customer care had contributed to the event's success.