When you come to the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta, there's always a topic that is discussed everywhere. At times, that topic has been avian influenza; at other times, it was the acquisitions of a company by another one, and so it continues.
This year I think the talk of the town is political. Whether it's Bolsonaro or Maduro, López Obrador or Macri, they all seem to ask themselves what will be the course of their country, and particularly, of our business, the poultry industry.
But, within this political aspect, Venezuela draws my attention and its poultry diaspora. Of course, I do not mean migrating waterfowl from the Orinoco River to go beyond the borders, but the number of professionals in the poultry industry who have already left and are now working in other countries.
The Central University of Venezuela, University of Carabobo, Andrés Bello Catholic University, Centroccidental Lisandro Alvarado or Simón Bolívar are all higher education centers that we see more frequently in resumes and hear give presentations of all these hundreds of poultry professionals that now work in Ecuador, Colombia, the United States or Mexico.
It is really impressive to see how many Venezuelan professionals from the poultry industry have left and who are now at the IPPE in Atlanta working with many foreign companies, abroad of course. Frankly, I had never seen this before. Or will it be that we are particularly sensitized now due to the precarious situation in that country?
It seems that Venezuela has been left without these valuable people to manage the few poultry that remains in their country. Years of public and private spending, efforts of a country and many families went by, so that now they have been transferred to other lands.
A Venezuelan poultry producer (or perhaps an ex-producer?) was telling me: "I just want to go back to Venezuela and go into my poultry houses, I want to be with my chickens, check them and take care of them."
He just wants to keep producing food for his people, which is heart-wrenching.
All these professionals from Venezuela are welcome to our countries. Feel welcome.
What do you think?