The annual livestock trade show, SPACE 2011, September 13-16, at the Rennes Exhibition Centre, France, is focusing on the international challenges facing the poultry, pig and feed industries while celebrating its 25th anniversary and largest show to date.

In the past year, the livestock industry has improved from 2009 and 2010 levels despite high feed prices. The dairy and pig industries have experienced a slight increase in price, which made up for increased animal feed costs because of high cereal prices. Escalating feed costs also are directly impacting other areas of meat production, particularly poultry, where the current market is largely export driven. A further area of concern is the developing drought that is placing many farms at risk.

International presence growing 

As of May, SPACE has 1,100 exhibitors — an increase of about 50 and more than 6,000 m² of stand area requested compared to 2010. SPACE is attracting more international companies — about 300 — and has 159 first-time exhibitors. The show will have 10 halls of exhibitions and is conveniently located next to the Saint-Jacques Airport in Rennes.

The 25th SPACE will offer plenty of opportunities for meetings and contacts among exhibitors representing the full range of equipment, products and services for all livestock species and trade visitors interested in developing and maintaining their business, particularly livestock farmers (60% of visitors in 2010) looking to optimise and modernise their operations.

Visitor numbers are set once more to top 100,000, and the show’s international profile is growing. In 2010, 9,336 international visitors from 107 different countries came to SPACE. As a result of the considerable resources SPACE invests abroad with the support of the Brittany Regional Council, a large number of delegations from every continent have already registered. International visitors will be able to choose from an extensive menu of services offered by the show’s different partners: ADEPTA, Bretagne International, UBI-France, CCI International and Enterprise Europe Network.


Educational, networking opportunities 

A range of symposia and conferences once again make SPACE the focus for sharing at every level. New to the show, this year is the International Raw Materials Forum, held on September 16, sponsored by the Association of Animal Feed Compounders.
This year, SPACE is offering a Job Dating event organised by the Association for Employment in Agriculture.The principle of Job Dating is built on a "flash" meeting (about 15 minutes) between a potential employer and a person seeking employment. This is an initial contact for open positions or projects in the medium term. Work placements at the end of study courses also will be considered.
International visitors and exhibitors will have access to the International Club, a VIP reception area and meeting place that offers free Internet, interpreting services, refreshments and access to sign up for several planned farm tours.

Research, development platform 

Feeding an ever-growing population means maintaining levels of agricultural production while reducing the use of chemical and non-renewable resources while protecting the environment —just some of the future challenges the world of agriculture must resolve.
Occupying a central position at SPACE, the 2011 Platform offers opportunities for information and discussion on Ecologically Intensive Agriculture practices. Farmers who are already integrating this new approach and advisers from the Chambers of Agriculture will be on hand to explain how farmers can adopt Ecologically Intensive Agriculture to their arable and livestock enterprises. No matter the sector — dairy, pigs or poultry — or the type of system — conventional or organic — Ecologically Intensive Agriculture is a progressive and innovative approach applicable not only at parcel or whole-farm level, but also at a regional level.