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Banff Seminar Hears That Pork Sector Must Adapt, Evolve

22 January 2015

CANADA - The chairman of the 2015 Banff Pork Seminar has stressed the importance of the need for the pig industry to adapt and evolve.

Shortly after last year's Banff Pork Seminar (BPS) got underway, the first case of porcine epidemic diarrhoea (PED) hit Canada. It was a bombshell that shook the pork industry and the conference. Cell phones buzzed and a social media feeding frenzy ensued.

Meristem Land and Science reports that, within a short time, the seminar organisers adjusted, and brought together speakers to bring BPS delegates and their industry up to date.

That moment in time a year ago and the ensuing PED experience of the past year are a clear sign of two things, says Banff Pork Seminar 2015 chair, Dr Bob Kemp [pictured above].

He said: "The need for the pork industry to be able to adapt and evolve, and the power of people to do that when they put their mind to it."

That was the underlying thinking for our Seminar this year, he said. "The world this industry finds itself in is moving so quickly. Issues such as feed costs, pork prices, disease challenges, labour challenges, currency fluctuations, market access, animal welfare, rising protein demand to name a few."

"Given that backdrop of a need for the industry to respond to multiple issues we chose 'Adapting and Evolving' as the theme for this year's seminar. Clearly there are tremendous opportunities for those who are willing to adapt and evolve.

That thinking applies to the organisation of this Seminar as well. Albert Einstein said "You can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used to create them." I believe this is especially relevant for this seminar as we think about what we need to do to "adapt and evolve" our industry.

"We are delighted with the turnout this year and very pleased to have the sponsor support that makes so much of this possible.

"But we also know that logically if the industry is faced with rapid evolution, institutions such as the Banff Pork Seminar have to keep pace. The opportunity for BPS to be a national launch point for the first information response on PED last year was symbolic. We have to find ways to continue to tap the best minds of the industry, to provide leadership.

"As you look around the room at the people attending this seminar we must take note of the makeup, and meet the needs of those audiences that make up this tremendous industry.

"We have great faith in the intelligence of the people in our industry to make good decisions. But we need your ideas and thoughts. At the end of this seminar you will have a chance to provide your comments and suggestions. It takes time, but please do that. We use that input to build a conference that meets your needs.

"Or if you have comments or ideas let me or any one of the planning committee know directly over the next couple of days or anytime afterwards."

One of the real benefits of this seminar is the networking opportunity it brings, added Dr Kemp. This year, the planning committee has added an increased number of reception events to enhance that experience. The have been designed so that they do not affect personal plans later in the evening.

"This mountain location, Banff, allows all of us to get away from our regular worlds into a place of immense physical beauty recognized around the world. Let's take time to enjoy that experience," Dr Kemp added.

ThePigSite News Desk

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