World Pork Expo: American pork fair hosts feed debate

This year's event promises to serve as a forum for discussion of the world crop situation and feed prices.

With the American grain market at the epicentre of a global upheaval in pig feeding costs, this could be the perfect year for feed industry people from abroad to plan a visit to World Pork Expo, the annual pig-sector show in the USA. The event promises to provide important updates from a U.S. perspective on how the supply/demand and price situation for feed grains is likely to play out over the coming months.

World Pork Expo is held every year at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa. It is hosted by the National Pork Producers Council and is expected to receive around 30,000 visitors to see the exhibits of almost 500 companies.

This year the expo opens on Thursday, 5th June, and runs until Saturday, 7th June. Opening hours for its trade show on the first two days are from 08:00 until 17:00. The show on the last day starts at 08:00 and ends at 12:00.

Focus on crop situation

"You can be sure we will be discussing the world crop situation regarding corn and soybeans and how this relates to feed costs in general," remarks expo general manager John Wrigley. "Those discussions will be taking place within the context of our educational sessions on each of the first two days of the show and they will certainly be at the heart of many of the conversations that are held on the stands of our exhibitors. The focus at World Pork Expo this year has to be on a return to profitability in pork production. There will be economists and commodity people present to look at the grain market and technical advice to producers on how to minimise their input costs under the current economic environment."

What is more, he reveals that the 20th anniversary edition of the show will be preceded by a 2-day tour with several visits likely to be of interest to feed professionals. The tour begins and ends in Des Moines and is timed to dovetail with the trade fair agenda. More details are being posted on the show website,

Exhibitors regularly include the biggest names in feed supplies for the North American market. Ingredients will be only one part of the product portfolio receiving special attention this year. Another will be the increasing number of supplements for the pig's diet that are aimed at improving the fertility of breeding animals or enhancing the consumer appeal of pork products.

Last year, the show was visited by a total of 34,565 people. This 2007 attendance was 10 percent more than in 2006 and included about 2,300 visitors from 50 countries to see 1,000 exhibit booths of 450 companies.

"We have moved away from the original concept of also drawing in townspeople and consumers from Des Moines and the surrounding area of Iowa to see the pork industry's largest trade show," says John Wrigley. "Our focus now is exclusively on the attendance of producers and their advisers from the swine sector, domestically and internationally.

"It is one of the reasons we are going to change the dates of the show as from 2009. In June 2008, we will have our usual timing that starts on a Thursday and ends at noon on the Saturday. For next year, however, we have announced dates of 3rd-5th June. They will mean a Wednesday start and a Friday finish. It is what our visitors and our exhibitors want, a show that is 100 percent professional and which no longer tries to have an additional audience by inviting in the general public at the weekend."

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