Over 108,000 visitors visited France’s International Trade Fair for Livestock, SPACE, this year, unperturbed by the grey skies and opening day dairy sector demonstrations.

The total display area at this year’s event, which took place from 15th-18th September, stretched to 60,000 m2, up on last year. The poultry sector was well represented with 101 exhibitors categorized as “poultry”. Eleven of these were exhibiting for the first time. Amongst visitors, there was a large delegation from Russia, mainly from the poultry industry.

With almost 1,300 exhibitors in total, there was a lot to see. Highlighted amongst the exhibitors were the recipients of the INNOV’SPACE awards, those companies whose products had been recognized for what they bring to the farmers.

Suppliers to the pig and poultry sectors were the biggest award recipients this year, and winners were allowed to display stars on their stand to highlight the fact. While things cannot be said to back to normal for the poultry, and related industries, things are looking up, and exhibitors this year gave a stellar performance.

Cobb

Pelayo Casanovas, sales and technical director with Cobb, noted that the company’s client base had grown significantly over the last couple of years, despite the crisis holding the sector back.

He noted that the company now had a solid team in place, and that the Cobb 500 bird was performing well in the market. Additionally, the company has a partnership with Sasso which is helping to strengthen its position.

“We think that France and the UK are the best markets for semi-industrial chicken, chickens like ours and Sasso’s,” Mr Casanovas commented.

Cochin-Muset

Cochin-Muset was exhibiting its new duck vaccination equipment, Avi-Logic, for the first time. The product addresses the difficulty of vaccinating ducks.

Avi-Logic is a semi-automated system for handling and confining ducks when veterinary procedures need to be carried out, especially vaccination. The system comprises a pair of large metal containers, fixed to a hydraulic mechanism that raises and rotates them once the birds have entered the containers, along with shields so that humans are kept out of sight.

Once the first cage is full, it is raised and rotated to bring the ducks to be treated to the right height for the veterinary staff. At the same time, the other cage is automatically brought into the lower position to allow a new group of ducks in.

Amongst the benefits of the product are that it helps to avoid injuries and keeps stress levels low, and was recognized in this years innovation awards. Cochin-Muset director Bruno Muset explained that while the product is currently only available in France, it could be made available in other European countries.

E-Cat

A new candling machine was amongst the highlights at the E-Cat stand. The Wisecare machine has artificial vision and can detect anything abnormal in an egg. It allows producers to candle eggs from 5-7 days.

E-Cat was the recipient of a two star INNOV’SPACE award for its automatic Egg Refilling Machine. Designed by Florent Menguy, the machine can be used in hatcheries to replace eggs removed on the process line after candling, filling either the whole or part of a tray. The first refilling station was installed in a large hatchery in Holland at the beginning of June this year.

The stand also displayed posters for Ecat In Ovo, a joint venture with Ceva for egg injection equipment.

Christine Jules, customer services and marketing manager with E-Cat, which has grown from seven to 40 employees over the last three years, noted that the company has not suffered too much during the crisis, and that the  new egg candling machine had allowed it to maintain sales.

Hartman

One of the more colourful stands at this year’s event was that organized by the French office of Danish egg packaging company Hartman.

The company returned to the show this year after a couple of years’ absence. The decision appeared to have paid off as Hartman reported that it had made a number of new contacts, especially with big players.
Hartman has a communication strategy based on the environmentally friendly nature of its products, and demand for this type of product is growing in France. The company notes that there are a number of advantages to their molded fibre products when compared with plastic, but additionally commented that it seemed illogical to package organic or free range eggs in plastic containers.

Josse

Farm equipment supplier Josse was displaying a new feeder on its stand, designed to make feeding easier. The Multi’Jos allows animals to be fed in less time than other feeders and can be assembled in a variety of ways. It has a moveable arm, which can be adjusted to a variety of heights, and one feeder can feed 10-100 birds.

Josse is the exclusive distributor for Giordano’s agriculture products in France and has been present in the market for 40 years. So what is the secret of the company’s success?

According to Joel Josse: “The important thing for me is to have total confidence in what we sell. You will only be successful if you respect your customers.”

LFA

LFA appeared at SPACE with a further offering for the poultry industry given that the European authorities approved its deactivated yeast Selsaf for use in all species during the summer. Justine Cau, communications manager, noted that the product would enter the market soon on a Europe-wide basis.

Merial

The company has a new vaccine available in France against Newcastle disease, Hatchpak Avinew which contains the VGGA virus strain. The frozen vaccine can be applied in the hatchery. It can be administered together with other vaccines such as Vaxxitec HTV+IBD. Vaxxitec HTV+IBD against Marek’s and IBD entered the French market in 2007.

Merial also had its vaccination Innovac machine on the stand, which forms part of its vaccination service. For those farmers using the Gallimune range, a technician is sent to the farm to show how the machine, which prevents self injection and poor immunization, is used.

The free service is thought to be unique and the machine was a recipient of the SPACE innovation award last year.

Nuovo Printing Systems

The printing systems company was displaying both its inkjet printer and its innovative stamping system. The systems can rapidly print onto eggs a variety of information including a farm code, production and expiry dates and logos. The company offers both standalone and inline systems.

Director Berry van der Wijst noted that there is increasing demand to stamp eggs at farm level rather than at the point of grading, as is currently required by European regulations, as this will lead to greater traceability.

SKA

Italy’s SKA was exhibiting a new poster designed specifically for the show reminding farmers of the 2012 cage changes.

Technical director Ruggero Segalla commented that many investments were still being postponed because of the difficulties in sourcing credit, but that, longer term, demand would continue upwards. He noted that there had already been some change in Italy in preparation for 2012, but that some smaller producers were being scared off by the level of investment needed for compliance.

Sogem

The Burgundy-based feed machine maker noted that, despite the market being “complicated”, there was still money for investment, particularly from Africa and the Middle East, and that it had negotiations underway to build complete factories in those regions.

Amongst highlights at the company’s booth was its Hymeal Meal Hygeniser, introduced two years ago ahead of stricter salmonella regulations.

Business manager Gilles Dupray noted that the company was witnessing an upturn in the market and an increase in sentiment, adding that contracts that had been postponed were now back on the table for signature.

Tetra

Perhaps one of the longest-established exhibitors at the show, although not always active in the poultry sector, was Tetra, which can trace its heritage back to 1789!

This year, the company introduced the Tetra Blanca, a dual purpose white bird. The company notes that Tetra Branca is a strong, rustic bird, offering high production levels and additionally, is easy to manage.

Zucami

Pamplona-based cage concern Zucami was displaying its modified enriched cage (M.E.C) and its German cage Kleinvoliere.

Pedro Ansoain Sanzol explained that there was work in the sector, particularly as egg prices were good. He noted that France started preparing early for the 2012 changes and had carried out a lot of investment, but that in some other parts of Europe there was still a lot of work to be done.

He continued that while some smaller businesses may not invest to meet the new regulations, particularly family run concerns where there may be nobody to carry on the business, larger companies had their longer term investment plans.