VIV Europe Hotline, 21 April : From an exhibition perspective, when a cloud of volcanic ash interfered with international flights this week, the first thoughts at the VIV Europe show being held in the Netherlands centered on the immediate travel plans of visitors and exhibitors.

Another aspect being discussed by the end of the show’s first day, however, was whether flight restrictions could affect the delivery of essential production supplies to livestock and poultry farms in Europe.

“I can only speak for our own business,” says Patrick Charlton, European regional director for Alltech, “but we are well stocked for product at the warehouses attached to each of our 40 offices in Europe and the combination we have of European manufacture with local warehousing means we do not normally need to use air freight.

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“Transporting by air is very expensive, and therefore would not be used unless under exceptional circumstances, such as when a seasonal product was in short supply and needed urgently. So I do not think that this particular incident with the volcano will have any effect on deliveries to farms or to feed mills.

“Of course, such incidents put a spotlight on air travel --- involving animals as well as people. For us, this is the year not only of our 30th anniversary, but also of our sponsorship of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky , starting in September. It will be huge. I am told that it will involve the largest international transportation of horses since World War II.

“To link in to the Games, we have now established local partnerships on equine feeds in 63 countries. Local partners have the right, for example, to use the games logo on their packaging. Through our sponsorship of the equestrian games and the partnership initiatives, we want to familiarise horse owners with the Alltech name and make them more aware that our products are inside the feeds they use.”