FRANCE - The SPACE livestock event held in Rennes, France, is notable in that it is still held annually and judging by this year’s bumper attendance the organisers will be under no pressure to move to putting this salon on biennlally, although a strike by Air France caused a minor disruption with some visitors having to travel to Rennes by TGV or car instead, writes Stuart Lumb.
There is usually some other kind of disruption to SPACE.
In 2009 dairy farmers were very vocal about low milk prices and in 2012 pig farmers protested about German pork imports depressing French prices.
This year it was the threat of disease – PCV 2 has been dealt with it but now PEDv is lurking on the horizon, along with FMD in north Africa, plus ASF in northern Europe.
SPACE puts on very informative farm visits as part of its schedule but the pig unit trips were understandably cancelled in light of the perceived disease risks and all exhibitors and visitors to SPACE were required to walk over disinfectant foot mats as they entered the showground and were also requested to wear non- farm clothing.
This is the first time in several years that disinfecting procedures have been invoked.
Marcel Denieul (pictured right) is the new President of SPACE and Denieul and in his opening address paid tribute to his predecessor Jean-Michel Lemeteyer, who had been president of SPACE for 20years, and who tragically died in July 2013.
A new large press office and official’s restaurant bear’s Mr LeMeteyer’s name, honouring his efforts over the years, resulting in SPACE becoming such a successful international livestock event.
Adjacent to the press office is the international Centre and this was as busy as ever, with many overseas visitors using the centre for networking and for holding meetings.
The French minister of Agriculture, Mr Stéphane Le Foll (pictured left) spent 90 minutes touring the show and in his address he expressed concerns about Russia and Ukraine with regard to French agricultural trade.
“As far as the French poultry industry is concerned, the industry has come to terms with the 2012 layer legislation, in that layer farms have grown size or switched to broiler production,” commented Olmix export director Alain Reocreux.Twenty –one per cent of the international visitors to SPACE are now from Africa and strong business links are being forged between France and a growing number of African nations.
Many of these are due to the efforts of ADEPTA, a 35 year old umbrella organisation supported by the France’s MAFF, which helps French livestock companies forge links abroad.
Mr Reocreux has been ADEPTA Livestock President for three years and on Wednesday 17 September in his capacity as president signed a collaborative trade agreement with Mr Babacar Ngom, president of L.’I.P.A.S.( the Senegalese Poultry Association).
”Senegal has a population of 15 million with a rising standard of living plus some tourism, so demand for poultry products is rising.
"There are more broilers than laying birds with 60 per cent of production coming from commercial enterprises and 40 per cent from backyard undertakings.
"Seventy per cent of corn is imported, mainly from the USA. Fresh meat and eggs are still valued highly hence the high percentage of family operations.
"Islam is the predominant religion and hence 85 per cent of birds are slaughtered traditionally.”
On the international front, SPACE is steadily attracing more and more visitors from overseas, hoping to boost exports and the show hosted several missions from abroad.Olmix are based in Brehan, close to Rennes and export worldwide.
Their substantial delegation had a compliment of 550 individuals from 43 different countries.
“MFeed + is our new green growth promoter for pigs, which boosts enzyme activity in the gut and gives a four per cent increase in post-weaning performance,” commented Olmix technical specialist Marie Gallissot (pictured right).
“In Asia AGPs can still of course be used in diets but natural GPs are being used more and more in Asia.”
“The EU partial sow stall ban came into force in 2013 and this had the effect of reducing sow numbers by five per cent,” commented Emmanuel Landeau, monogastric products manager for feed company Vitalac.
Landeau added that smaller producers who could not afford the investment had quit the business plus farmers who were nearing retirement had ceased production as well.
Given this situation, it was interesting to see that several equipment companies were still exhibiting dry sow group housing equipment.
To comply with the 2013 legislation some producers undoubtedly took a short cut and simply took the rear gates off the sow stalls and halved the length of the stall divisions, which allowed sows to roam free but still be fed individually.
This housing option is not ideal for good performance and so these producers could well have then decided to invest in more well-tried systems such as free access stalls or ESFs.
Pig breeders are always striving to improve conception rates and AI equipment company Cobiporc was introducing ReproXL to the market. ReproXL is predominantly made up of amino acids, in powder form, with one dose of 120gms being given to the sow 24hours post weaning.
In trials, Cobiporc claim that conception rates were improved by between 5 and 8 per cent. Pig producers always want more productivity and DanAvl (formerly Danbred International) would suggest that they have the ideal genetics.
They can provide pigs of varying health status plus semen as well.
The DanAvl policy is to sell their stock to herds which have 500 sows or more and the Danes are gradually gaining a foothold in France.
SPACE is also famous for its cattle section and this year hosted 600 cattle from 13 different breeds.
The dairy industry is seeing restructuring with herds getting bigger.Producers are currently receiving 40cents / kg for their milk. Looking forward to life after quotas are scrapped, the Brittany dairy industry is setting up a factory which will just produce milk powder, with 100 per cent of the production being exported to China.
The 2015 SPACE salon will run from Tuesday 15 September – Friday 18 September.
ThePigSite News Desk