The Romanian Feed Manufacturers Association’s (ANFNC) largest meeting usually operates as an in-person event hosted in Bucharest, but this year, the 7th annual conference moved to a virtual format. The April event provided two days of online webinars and talks including connections with international experts.
The topic of the conference “Strengthening Food Security and Environmental Sustainability” served as a reassurance message for all supply chain stakeholders to continue working together to increase the resilience of the agricultural, livestock, and food systems.
In spite of the unprecedented times and busy schedules, more than 75 industry participants attended the online conference. Distinguished speakers from Belgium, France, Austria, and Romania focused their presentations on solutions for sustainable production, to produce more with less and the final goal to secure food for a rapidly changing world.
The conference’s keynote speaker, USSEC consultant Dr. Jan van Eys, gave a comprehensive presentation on the current situation and future of world animal production, focusing on the importance of the sustainability of U.S. Soy and its unique composition. He also emphasized the East European agriculture, feed, and livestock industries’ importance for near future growth opportunities and growing demand for U.S. soy exports to the region.
“USSEC’s participation at the virtual conference allowed for a good overview of the essential and beneficial role of U.S. Soy in feed and livestock production,” states Dr. van Eys. “The critical point of sustainability as this is increasingly demanded by consumers and as it can be offered by U.S. Soy, was highlighted as well.
“The conference presentations were followed by a lively and positive session of open discussions about the future of feed production and the supply of quality ingredients, such as U.S. Soy. The meeting in this new form was well organized and proceeded smoothly respecting time allocations by a group of very well qualified speakers addressing a wide range of subjects from fat or oil quality (e.g. from soybeans) to the production of probiotics or additives. The program was clearly of interest to the attendees and the model of the virtual meeting deserves consideration for future occasions,” Dr. van Eys concludes.
“It has been not simply business-as-usual because under the new virtual format, we still need to satisfy the still-strong hunger for information, connection, education, marketing, and networking for customers, technology suppliers, and organizations of all types. During these difficult times and under the new reality, several industry events have been canceled, postponed, or rescheduled,” comments USSEC consultant Dr. Iani Chihaia, president of the Romanian Feed Manufacturers Association. “We at ANFNC decided to move to a purely virtual format, and we should say that in spite of the inherent difficulties, there are excellent returns and engagement with the customers. A new virtual community is formed, while we all learn new skills to survive the on-line environment.
“Industry events remain the gold standard for exchanging ideas and strengthening professional relationships and creating mutual benefits for feed industry stakeholders. We extend our thanks to our sponsors and speakers, supporting our efforts to gather professionals, researchers, and academia members together into the feed industry virtual space,” Dr. Chihaia summarizes.