This year´s IEC Global Leadership Conference was held in Copenhagen from September 22 to 26 and brought together CEOs and Senior Executives from the world´s leading egg businesses, a total of over 420 delegates from 40 countries. The IEC once again offered delegates a broad range of over 20 top- level speakers who covered the main topics of the international egg industry. Across the four days delegates were able to develop new business relationships and heard from a wide range of different perspectives, giving the latest opinions on the future opportunities of their businesses. Actually 97% of all delegates rated the conference with “satisfied“ or “very satisfied“.

The retail focus was on the future of shopper marketing where Simon Wainwright identified five key features that will characterize the new shoppers generation: 1. Time optimizers, 2. More health conscious consumers, 3. More individual shoppers, 4. More experimental buyers and 5. more socially conscious consumers. John O´Hara from Sunny Queen explained the “ Snackification “(or convenience food) fitted very well with eggs with regards to wellness, convenience and on-the-go food like their “Omelette Bites“. Professor David Hughes reminded delegates that the fact, that consumers are becoming increasingly environmentally conscious and climate-friendly is a fantastic opportunity to position eggs as the top protein product. It is now up to the egg industry to ensure that consumers will know the true story of eggs regarding CO2 Footprint and nutritional value as the best source of protein.

In the Feed Focus session Nan-Dirk Mulder explained that Asia as a feed market is consuming four times more than any other continent and that the impact of African Swine Fever especially in China is disrupting the global feed markets in an unprecedented way. Peter van Horne added that the global food demand is expected to rise 60% by 2050, but the current growth in yields are falling short and in addition livestock contributes 14,5% of  total global greenhouse gas emissions. Dr. Matlock encouraged delegates to change the way sustainability is seen, not as getting more from less but instead getting BETTER for LESS. He felt that the egg industry have a great sustainable story to tell as the feed efficiency has dramatically improved through technical innovation.

The group of Young Egg Leaders (YEL) suggested that technical developments with robotics will help to address the labor challenge and that the health of hens and welfare as well as production efficiency were key areas for a bright future of the egg industry globally.

Ovotherm was represented at the Copenhagen Conference by its CEO Franz Hofer, Area Manager Petra Küblböck, Marion Klemm and Senior Partner Willi Kallhammer.

The Hague in the Netherlands will be hosting the next IEC Business Conference from April 5 to 7, 2020.