The 22nd European Symposium on Poultry Nutrition (ESPN 2019) will be held in Gdansk, Poland, June 10-13. This biennial event combines science and practice, so sessions are organized in that way.
"We like to introduce a scientific problem and a solution for it," said Sebastian Kaczmarek, vice president of the ESPN 2019 Organizing Committee. "The aim is to bring science and practice together, so around 70 percent of participants come from companies and the rest, more or less, from science."
ESPN is not just European anymore -- it is global. Participants come from global companies, and therefore, from all over the world. It has become a benchmark for all poultry nutritionists, Kaczmarek said.
The program was conceptualized after a careful analysis. For example, on ingredients, presentations will focus on protein sources, "because this is important for countries in the region, such as Germany, Austria, Hungary or Poland." The conferences on this topic are mostly about soybeans, but also other sources such as rapeseed or sunflower.
Gut health and microbe modulation is a very attractive issue for many participants. "It is a hot topic for Europe and the Americas because of the antibiotics ban," said Kaczmarek.
Topics like sustainability, digestibility and slow-growing poultry will be discussed in ESPN 2019. There will be information about chickens, but also about ducks and turkeys.
Gdansk is a very attractive city with a history of more than 1,000 years, easy to access and with a mixture of influences, like German, Jewish and Kashubia.
Poland is of paramount importance in European poultry production, accounting for 16.8 percent, the largest share in the EU, followed by the U.K. with 12.9 percent. "It is the most important market in Europe right now," said Kaczmarek, "It increases each year very rapidly."
In recent years, poultry production has moved from West to Central-East Europe (Poland, Hungary, Romania) because production is more economical in those countries. In addition to the traditional broilers and layers, duck production is increasing. Exports are very important for Polish poultry producers, and their products are mainly destined to Germany and the United Kingdom. Thus, it is expected that Brexit will represent a serious problem.
According to Eurostat data, Poland produced 2.545 million metric tons of poultry meat in 2018, up from 2.343 million in 2017. (In 2007, it was about 1.2 million, an increase of more than 100 percent.) Kaczmarek said Poland has 45 million to 50 million layers and produces about 40 million turkeys per year.