Canadian to Lead International Poultry Council

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Robin Horel of the Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Association (CPEPC) has been elected as the new President of the International Poultry Council (IPC). Canada has been a member of the IPC since its inception, and this new appointment serves to strengthen our relationship with the group and involvement in its activities.

Robin’s election took place at IPC’s first semester conference and strategic planning meeting held in New Orleans, U.S. where Jim Sumner retired from his role as IPC President. Jim represents the U.S.A. Poultry & Egg Export Council and was instrumental in the creation of IPC. A celebration dinner was held during the conference to acknowledge his contributions. Other conference highlights included:

  • A presentation on the economic overview for the world poultry industry by Rabobank, where African swine fever, trade disputes, consumer trends, labour availability and technology, and sustainability were noted as the biggest issues affecting our industry worldwide.
  • A presentation about world trade in poultry meat, which was forecasted to increase to 15% in the coming years from the current 12% of production
  • A presentation entitled “Communication gaps in agribusiness,” noting that in North America, very few consumers know about our production practices, but a big percentage of them do not trust that birds are treated well.

Around the same time as the conference, IPC released a notice entitled “Poultry is king of proteins in IPC outlook.” The notice, which can be viewed here, describes the conclusion of economists at the meeting, who agreed that poultry consumption will surpass pork consumption on a worldwide basis in 2019. This is in large part because pork production continues to fall due to African swine fever in pigs in China and poultry is expected to fill the gap in world protein supplies.

Background info on IPC

The IPC’s mission is to strengthen communication between the industries of different countries, to develop and recommend policies affecting our industries, and to promote a common global understanding of and confidence in poultry products as the preferred source of meat protein.

The IPC was formed in 2005 by leading poultry-producing countries to determine areas of common interest and develop policies for the overall betterment of the global industry. The organization currently has 29 country members and 56 associate members representing more than 88 percent of the world’s poultry production and 95 percent of the poultry trade.

One of the major benefits of Canada’s membership on IPC is the ability to build relationships and make connections with international poultry stakeholders. This has proven useful in the development of industry policies and with government relations – the ability to consult with and learn from international partners about how similar matters are handled in their country. For example, during the consultations around the Humane Transport Regulations, CFC was able to reach out to IPC contacts to find out how regulated transport times are actually enforced in different countries, which informed our feedback to CFIA’s consultation.

The IPC has cooperation agreements with other international organizations including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the Codex Alimentarius Commission and is recognized by these groups as the sole organization representing the interests of the global poultry meat industry. This gives IPC a seat at the table for important discussions on issues that affect the poultry industry worldwide.

Internally, IPC has formed four working groups to address specific topics of concern and propose policies and practices to the membership for potential adoption. An example of this work includes the IPC position statement on antimicrobial use and antimicrobial stewardship principles. The four working groups are:

  • Animal Health and Welfare
  • Processing and Food Safety
  • Marketing and Consumption
  • Environment and Sustainability

For World Poultry Day on May 10th, IPC released a video which uses poultry as an example of a very important issue – feeding the world. We shared this on the Chicken Farmers of Canada Facebook page to mark the occasion and sent it to all provincial boards to share as well.

Chicken Farmers of Canada plans to remain engaged with IPC as an associate member and continue to foster relationships with international poultry industry stakeholders. The next IPC meeting will take place in August in São Paulo, Brazil.

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