As 2012 drew to a close, there was both good news and bad news concerning avian influenza. In mid-December 2012, the World Health Organization reported that there had been 610 laboratory confirmed cases of avian influenza H5N1 in humans since 2003, resulting in 360 deaths.
At the moment of writing, I am at German trade event EuroTier, and of course the event is about a lot more than poultry, and far from simply about Germany! Events such as EuroTier are always great learning experiences, and offer a rare opportunity to catch up with friends and colleagues from around the world.
In many parts of the world, welfare is high on the consumer — and hence retailer — agenda. Any company that does not meet the requirements of large retailers can quickly find itself struck off the suppler list.
With World Egg Day due to take place on October 12, any organizers of events should have preparations well underway, but just in case, I thought that it might be worthwhile to offer a few pointers for last-minute ideas. A first point of call could be www.worldeggday.com for ideas and egg facts.
For something so small, so simple and, excuse me for saying so, unoriginal — it has been around for years and is used by more than chickens to bring young into the world — the egg tends to be the focus of an awful lot of research and to generate an awful lot of column inches. Some of the latest findings to make the headlines have reported a study that seems to equate over-consumption of egg yolks with smoking in terms of the effects on one's health.
There are ways to reap the benefits from going the extra mile with animal welfare. Compassion in World Farming is currently calling on food manufacturers, retailers and food service businesses to enter the Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards.
UK banking concern Barclays has been finding itself the subject of headlines for the all wrong reasons over the last couple of weeks. Rate fixing has been the focus of attention and it looks as if there is more to come.
Whether related to poultry and eggs or anything else, there is a beneficial economic impact from learning. Those with more education tend to find higher-paying occupations, leaving monetary, cultural and entrepreneurial impressions on their communities.
In many countries, governments are looking at loosening the regulations that govern business as a way of kick-starting the economy. It is argued that rules and regulations are stifling business, and with more freedom to operate, commercial enterprises will pull us out of our seemingly never-ending stagnation.