The American poultry industry has an identity crisis. We find ourselves defending against the charge of operating “factory farms” and being insensitive animal abusers. The reality is that nobody produces safe, welfare-friendly poultry products better. The U.S. is by far the largest producer of poultry in the world, and we should be telling the world about it. American poultry products have been proven to be innovative, safe and inexpensive – all due to the magnitude of scale.
As a country, U.S. output of poultry products rivals the production of entire regions of the world. Data from the WATT Executive Guide to World Poultry Trends (see charts, “Regional chicken production” and “Regional turkey production”) illustrates the tremendous scale of U.S. operations.
Putting it in perspective of WATT PoultryUSA’s annual rankings, if one were to place the production of either Pilgrim’s Pride (4.8 million tonnes) or Tyson Foods (4.5 million tonnes) on a deserted island, that island’s ranking would be greater than all but three countries in the world.
Further illustrating their scale, the combined production of these two companies is larger than that of Brazil, surpassed only by China and the U.S. And these are just the top two companies in the U.S. WATT PoultryUSA’s rankings include 35 other major producers of broilers. In the turkey sector, 26 top companies accounted for over 7 billion pounds.
IPE supports industry scale
The demographic breakout of the 2009 International Poultry Expo shows that IPE not only supports the world-class scale of the U.S. industry but makes Atlanta the crossroads for the poultry industry:
- U.S. broiler industry – 23 of the top 25 companies participated at this most recent show, including all of the top 10.
- U.S. turkey industry – 18 of the top 20 companies participated, including all of the top 15.
- U.S. commercial egg industry – 8 of the top 10 companies participated.
- U.S. feed industry – 7 of the top 10 companies participated at the show.
The show has evolved from a regional U.S. show to a truly international venue bringing in attendees from close to 100 countries with the central focus on networking and education for technologies that cross all borders. One can go to Thailand or Russia and see production and processing techniques that are used in north Georgia, northwest Arkansas and throughout the USA. The U.S. university system has trained numerous poultry leaders from abroad, and the U.S. ties with Latin America are particularly strong due to these programs.
Educational sessions and satellite meetings
The International Poultry Expo is more than a trade show, bringing together a number of programs. Following is a list of meetings and programs presented in conjunction with the annual IPE:
- National Chicken Council board meeting
- United Egg Producers board meeting
- U.S. Poultry & Egg Association board meeting
- National Poultry Food Distributors Association Annual Meeting
- International Poultry Scientific Forum
- Pet Food Conference co-sponsored by AFIA and the Poultry Protein & Fat Council
- Animal Agriculture Environmental Sustainability Summit
- Poultry Market Intelligence Forum
- Educational programs sponsored by industry publishers
- College Student Program
- USDA, exhibitors and association meetings
The IPE has broadened its educational programs to include a number of workshops specializing in training industry personnel on how to deal with specific challenges. In 2010, the IPE will feature workshops on FSIS Noncompliance Records, Nutrient Management Plans, and Equipment Safety - Machine Guarding.
The U.S. Poultry & Egg Educational Program on Thursday, January 28, will focus on “Animal Agriculture under Attack” and will bring unique perspectives on how to address the challenges for the future. Our industry’s approaches to the issues will have to change, and the program will bring new insights about demographic and geographic influences with which we must cope.
IPE funds industry research
The show not only is a place for suppliers and industry to meet; funds from the IPE are funneled back to the industry. In fiscal year 2008, more than $3 million dollars were channeled into industry programs for industry promotion, education, communication and research. All this was made possible through the support of our exhibitors and attendees.
The IPE is the world’s largest show devoted to the poultry industry. It’s a big show for a big industry and a crossroads for progressive people and ideas.
The 2010 International Poultry Expo takes place January 25 to 29 in Atlanta at the Georgia World Congress Center. Educational programs begin on January 25, and the trade show runs January 27 to 29.