Sustainable Intensification: Theme for VIV Europe 2014

THE NETHERLANDS - VIV Europe 2014 - the most prestigious trade show for innovative livestock farming, the production of meat, poultry, eggs, animal feed production, breeding stock, animal health and food safety - return to the Netherlands on 20 to 22 May.
calendar icon 7 March 2014
clock icon 9 minute read

It has taken four years and all countries with growth prospects for the production of animal proteins have been much-frequented.

In the Jaarbeurs Utrecht complex, where once upon a time – around 35 years ago – it all started, the organisers are now expecting 20,000 key players from 140 countries to attend. Many of these, almost half, will be from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, South America and Russia. We are expecting many visitors from the latter country, and from its neighbours Ukraine and Kazakhstan.

The vast majority of visitors will be from Europe, with advance registrations showing great interest from Germany, Poland, France and Italy. VIV Europe is organising specific programmes for visitors from Poland and Hungary.

In addition to visitors from within the industry, there will also be visits by full diplomatic delegations who will be coming to take a look at the world premieres on display or taking part in a series of scientific congresses that are being organised parallel to the show.

Six hundred exhibitors from 45 countries have their latest products ready for the show. Complete cattle farm complexes and systems, which cannot be exhibited at the show because of their size, will be visited via field-trips. Foreign governments will also be in attendance, taking a look behind the scenes at hands-on farms in the Netherlands via exclusive VIP programmes. After all, together with the United States, the Netherlands has a worldwide reputation in the field of innovative livestock, meat and egg production.

Show organiser, Ruwan Berculo, promises that Utrecht will be showing off the very latest developments. The central theme for VIV Europe is ‘Sustainable intensification’.


Mr Berculo explained: “We primarily aim to be a platform for all of the leading technology and know-how in the field of animal protein production in growth countries that currently have the greatest need for this.

“In addition, we of course also focus our range of solutions on major European countries and the United States in order to achieve even more innovative and higher quality livestock, meat and egg production systems in those countries – all of course with clear pre-conditions for sustainability because the world has now discovered that intensification has to be sustainable.

“This is something we are already seeing in the far-afield countries, where there is more interest in animal welfare and food safety than you may imagine. Meeting the growing need for animal protein products is not just simply a case of even bigger and more intensive.

“During the congresses and seminars, we will be paying a great deal of attention to this because there are misunderstandings about what sustainable intensification exactly entails. We aim to crystallise that theme: at the show, in the peripheral programmes and during the farm visits throughout the country where our partners and exhibitors carry out their trials.

With the theme of ‘sustainability’, Mr Berculo is alluding to the misconception that this only relates to organic production.

He explained: “It’s about answering the question about how we can meet the growing demand for better food and how we can develop that in a sustainable manner, throughout the world. What is required for that and meets the latest requirements will be here at the show. We have what has never been on show before and that’s what we’ve promised the exhibitors and the visitors.”


Four years have been spent working on the return of VIV Europe, the ‘mother show’ of what has now become a thriving, worldwide network. The last edition in 2010 suffered serious disruption due to the ash cloud caused by the volcanic eruption in Iceland, which prevented international visitors from flying.

Mr Berculo said: “In the meantime, we have of course been organising successful VIVs – like VIV Asia – serving both regional and local markets and that has also allowed us to expand our network, make contact with new partners, visit government ministries and establish relationships with livestock breeding organisations, which has of course helped us promote VIV Europe.

“Last year, we held roadshows in 20 countries. We attended shows organised by others, where we arranged congresses, organised seminars and held workshops in order to demonstrate that we wanted to share knowledge and tell the world that it had to come to Utrecht since that is the essence of this event – assisting the worldwide industry: building relationships and sharing knowledge. We’re investing heavily in this because these are the qualities by which VIV Europe will stand or fall.

“We will, of course, ensure that an atmosphere is created that is very conducive to doing business. We welcome out visitors with all due respect. The diplomatic delegations attending the show come in direct contact with our own Ministry of Economic Affairs because agri-food is one of the leading sectors.

“People realise that our event places the Netherlands on the map and therefore the ministry works closely with us. More than ever before, people from foreign government departments are welcomed as if it was a state visit. Between them, Utrecht and Amsterdam also have a great deal to offer. That atmosphere, what’s on offer at the show, the farm visits and the scientific programme – that’s what makes this edition of VIV Europe unique.”

World Premieres

Mr Berculo is expecting a lot of reactions to the world premieres.

He explained: “Visitors will see them in all of the halls but especially in the innovation hall (Hall 7). Outstanding inventions from exhibitors will also be on show in the ‘innovation gallery’. These are smaller representations of innovations that the exhibitors are presenting on their stands. They are also being given a special place of honour in our 'centre court' - the central welcome hall of the show).

“In the field of egg incubation, egg processing and handling, slaughtering systems and housing systems, we will be exhibiting innovations that have never been seen before. The ears of the entire world are ringing about that. Yes, we are sticking out our necks and doing things that you wouldn’t normally expect from a show. Expectations are high, we are enthusiastic and we believe our exhibitors and visitors are feeling the same.

“We have built up an international name for ourselves in decades and we have to do it justice” added Mr Berculo.

VIV Europe and Rabobank: ‘Sustainable Intensification’ Congress

The day before the official opening of VIV Europe and in conjunction with the Rabobank, a congress has been organised in which the central theme of ‘Sustainable intensification’ will be explored in depth.

Mr Berculo said: “This will cover what sustainability means precisely for the livestock farmer and how you can aim to achieve sustainable development combined with large scale. There are many more forms of sustainable livestock rearing combined with intensification than one may imagine.

“When the term ‘intensification' is mentioned, many people immediately think about super-sized livestock sheds, however, during the congress the experts will also be explaining that intensive livestock rearing is not synonymous with animal factories.”

VIV Europe Presents CropTech-FeedTech

The CropTech-FeedTech knowledge programme, which has now become internationally renowned, will also be one of the highlights at VIV Europe.

Developments in this field are progressing so rapidly and are so vital for the production of animal protein that this theme has attracted massive international interest.

Mr Berculo said: “Within the central theme of ‘Sustainable intensification’, the production of animal feeds is essential. The quality of the feed is a spearhead because this has such a massive influence on the quality of the end products for the consumer. The feed component is also a significant factor for the cost price of meat, poultry meat and eggs.

“The production of efficient, high-quality feed is therefore a main topic at VIV Europe. The scientific world is discovering to an increasing level how the production chain can be managed by using technology and automation in these chains. It comes down to the ability to switch quickly between various protein-rich raw materials, depending on price and availability on the world market and tracking and tracing.”

At VIV Europe, experts and exhibitors will be presenting their best knowledge and techniques in the field of feed production.

Animal feed is also the theme of the opening congress on Tuesday 20 May.

Mr Berculo continued: “Our exhibitors will be presenting all of the latest techniques and we are organising the knowledge platform through which we will be examining this subject in depth. This will also cover topics such as ingredients, additives and veterinary medication – the latter also being of major importance since there is a direct relationship between food quality and food safety.”

VIV’s Animal Health Summit

In addition to the effect of animal feed on the production of end products, the role of animal health is just as important.

According to Mr Berculo: “This is and remains a theme. The use of veterinary drugs that are aimed at ensuring healthy livestock must not have any negative consequences for the safety of our end products. On the other hand, animals in large-scale livestock systems must be able to thrive and grow up healthy.

“There are, however, an increasing number of technological solutions for this and that is why on the second day of VIV Europe (Wednesday 21 May), we have organised a congress around this topic: Animal Health Summit. In the morning we will be holding seminars that mainly address the technology and in the afternoon there will be a large independent scientific congress which has been organised on conjunction with the WVPA.

“This congress, which is entitled ‘Poultry health threats’ will cover the trends in health promotion on poultry farms. Here too, visitors will discover the combination of the technology on show and the seminars and congresses that will allow them to gain greater in-depth knowledge,” said Mr Berculo.

Attention to Environment and Animal Welfare at VIV Europe

The importance of animal welfare in sustainable production of livestock, meat and eggs is also increasing in countries outside of North-West Europe. On the afternoon of Tuesday 20 May, this topic will certainly be up for discussion during the prestigious Romijn lecture, which is entitled 'How to feed (and not eat) the world'.

Show organiser, Ruwan Berculo, explained: “Actually, all of those themes will be covered – animal welfare, animal health, the relationship between intensive livestock farming and the environment, as well as the cross-relationships and how one production factor can influence another.”

Animal welfare will be specifically discussed during the Animal Welfare Conference that has been organised by WATT Global Media and which will be held on Wednesday 21 May.

For more information on VIV Europe 2014, visit the web site,

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