March saw the return of VIV Asia. Nervousness over the impact of the economic downturn on the event proved misplaced. While overall visitor numbers may have been down slightly, key decision makers made their way to Bangkok to see what the industry had to offer.
And this year there was an extra attraction the Egg track grouping together companies active in the egg industry and offering a lecture programme.
The enthusiasm at the event was undeniable and a thread running through many of the new products was the ability to reduce energy, keep costs down and protect the environment a definite sign of the times!
Asia continues to offer opportunities during the downturn. Chairman of the management board with Big Dutchman, Bernd Meerpohl, explained that taking South East Asia as a whole, the company was not being overly affected and would come very close to meeting its targets. With the region developing to a higher level, customers were looking for more sophisticated equipment, he noted.
Among the highlights at the Big Dutchman stand was its OptiSep manure separator, due to be launched in Asia later this year. OptiSep separates dry from liquid manure and consumes little energy. Its launch will be followed by the introduction of additional products for cleaning water and combusting solids.
Evialis chose VIV Asia to introduce Neovia to Asia. Neovia is the new name for the company's feed additives brand. Comprising five supplements, four of which are for poultry, the company hosted a seminar during the show to communicate the advantages of the portfolio.
Spain's Invesa highlighted its prebiotic presention of clove oil for broilers and layers. This is the first time that the product has been available outside the company's home country.
At the GePro stand, various fish feeds derived from poultry by-products were in evidence. The company currently sells in Thailand and the Philippines and is in negotiations to enter more Asian markets.
A new, more efficient, stunning system, offering low wattage yet greater efficiency, was featured at the Bayle stand. The company also chose to highlight its new low-maintenance defeathering machine, the PF model.
Canada's Jamesway was showing its P40 hatcher which has been redesigned and has a back exhaust now for the first time in Asia. The company is currently highlighting the energy-efficient nature of its range, relating that one client had pointed out that electricity can account for 35% of the cost of a chick.
Among offerings at the Moba stand were the Omnia 500 grader, which has a capacity of 180,000 eggs per hour, and the FL500 loader, which has the same capacity. Moba product manager Paul Buisman commented: "With our four offices in Asia, it's easy to contact us. We opened offices in the region 12 years ago and some of our original staff are still with us."
Offices and new facilities were much in evidence at the Aviagen stand. Visitors were able to see posters detailing how the company is moving much closer to the local market. The head of global marketing, Dave Burnham, explained that the company was investing $8.5 million in a facility in India that would have its first GGP in July.
The company has also been investing in Australia and New Zealand. Burnham continued that among the reasons for this investment was the need to be closer to customers and a desire to cut down on transport and raise biosecurity.
New and old
Along with new products, the show also saw new faces. Lebanese Veterinary Laboratories took a stand at the event for the first time and administration manager Roula Corbani explained that the show had provided numerous contacts and that the company was now in the process of assigning distributor contracts.
Despite being a long-term exhibitor at VIV Asia, Israel's Abic was exhibiting for the first time following completion of its deal with Phibro in early February. The vice-president of global poultry market development, Kobi Lustgarten, explained that the previous weeks had been extremely positive and that the company's mission was to integrate synergies, customer service offerings and product lines.
Fellow Israeli concern Duram, also a well-established presence at VIV Asia, showcased its range of rubber plucking fingers. Asked what the secret was for weathering the downturn, director Amnon Ben-Peretz said: "If you offer a good price, reliability and quality, and if you are an honest company, you will be OK."
Companies of Chinese origin made a strong showing at VIV Asia. Among the Chinese contingent was Venco-Extra, part of Vencomatic Shanghai, and established as recently as October last year.
Guangxou Huanan Poultry Equipment displayed a new line of housing construction materials that feature galvanised edges. Its stand also featured an A-frame cage with a manual removal belt, which the company says is the only product of its type in the world.