Event size and nutrition trends leave lasting impression

Last week I attended my first EuroTier in Hanover, Germany. It certainly lived up to its reputation as the premier international animal husbandry trade show, the largest of its kind.

One week later, I’ve had some time to reflect on the experience, what I saw and what I took away from the show. Painting a picture for those who have never attended the event and also identify a couple of trends, here are four of my takeaways from EuroTier:

1. Wow, this show is HUGE

All in all, the show encompassed 15 halls and additional conference and meeting spaces, spanning what seemed to run for miles. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you they operate shuttles to transport attendees from one side of the grounds to the next.  

Luckily I was able to spend much of my time in conjoined halls 14, 15, 16 and 17, where the feed- and nutrition-related booths were located, so I managed alright.

The event drew 156,000 visitors – 30,000 from outside of Germany, reports DLG, the event organizer.

2. Common themes among additive suppliers

This go-round, the world’s producers are increasingly interested in tapping into the knowledge and strategies deployed in the EU since the 2006 ban on AGPs in animal feed.

The fostering and maintenance of animal gut health and the role it plays in immunity were one of several ubiquitous themes. Milk replacement manufacturer Nukamel hosted a one-day event on the eve of Eurotier focused on the topic. While BIOMIN and many other suppliers pushed its importance at their stands.

Discussion of sustainability and all aspects of animal welfare also presented a common thread in the areas that covered all sectors of animal agriculture.

3. Young animal health: a hot topic

Regardless of species, neonatal nutrition was another prevalent theme among additive suppliers.

For example, LeSaffre’s neonatal program focuses on the three important stages in a calf’s life - late pregnancy, neonatal and pre-weaning – with three additive solutions. Immunity transfer via colostrum; illness (diarrhea) prevention; and the impact early life care played on the animal’s long-term performance form the basis of this program.

In meeting with a representative from AB Agri’s new AB Neo business, the company believes “neonates hold the key to switching on lifetime performance.” It recently launched neonate nutrition product for piglets, one where the animal need only be feed the pelleted product for the first six weeks of life. The product has been thoroughly tested in the UK before its official launch on November 3.

Also on the swine side, Cargill Animal Nutrition also pushed its Neopigg RescueCare system. The system, produced by piglet feed producer and additive supplier Promivi B.V., aims supplement the feeding needs of the young piglets by ensuring they receive the nutrition that may not otherwise be provided by its mother due to increased live pig births.

And those are just a few examples; many more suppliers pushed this message in their promotional materials and booth displays.

4. Getting down to business

The event showcased more than 2,300 exhibitors. Walking the halls, I passed scores of intense conversations held in the elaborate trade booths. I’ve been to many trade shows in my career, but there was certain energy to EuroTier that I haven’t seen before.

Perhaps it’s because of the event’s scale and frequency (a two-year gap between events), but the attendees entered the event with a purpose – to find seek out the latest and greatest in their particular area of interest. Everyone seemed to move at a faster pace and each exhibitor came well-staffed and ready to engage.

In the end, I ran out of time, with much more that I wanted to see and booths left unvisited. I'm looking forward to EuroTier's 2016 edition.