USSEC’s virtual conference on protein ingredients for poultry replaced the long-planned face to face event which would have been held in Bucharest, Romania. By quickly adapting to the new context, the USSEC Europe team succeeded during the current lockdown to gather the U.S. soy customer community online.
The event, broadcast from Bucharest, was held on May 13 and 14, and has been a resounding success in positioning U.S. Soy as a key ingredient in quality meat production, due to its positive attributes: better amino acid digestibility and higher energy. U.S. soy customers and speakers from 20 different countries, including Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Croatia, Poland, Hungary, Russia, Kazakhstan, Norway, United Kingdom, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Turkey, Morocco, Tunisia, Mexico, Philippines and the United States, attended the two-day event for five hours each day.
High profile speakers from European universities in Spain, Italy and Norway were invited to address a number of themes. Dr. Gonzalo Mateos (University of Madrid, Spain), Dr. Birger Svihus (Norwegian Life Sciences University), and Dr. Jan van Eys focused their presentations on protein sources in non-ruminant diets, with particular attention on the critical role of U.S. Soy; dietary protein level effects on retention of nutrients, growth performance, and ammonia emissions in non-ruminants and the effect of fats and fatty acids on carcass protein and amino acid composition and retention.
In answer to U.S. soy customer inquiries prior to the event, topics related to the influence of management and feeding practices on carcass quality in broilers, the economic losses resulting from broiler carcasses, meat downgrading, and muscle abnormalities were presented by the keynote speakers, Dr. Giulia Baldi and Dr. Massimiliano Petracci from the University of Bologna, Italy.
Taking into account the level of interaction between participants and speakers, special attention was paid to the importance of protein sources and quality in broiler feeding, the absence of in-feed antibiotics, and quality of protein ingredients, with focus on amino acids digestibility, to maintain good gut health.
The peak of the event were the Q&A sessions at the end of each conference day. Participants fully took advantage of the virtual environment, directly interacting with and addressing questions to speakers.
At the end of the event, Dr. Iani Chihaia, USSEC consultant for South East Europe, Greece and Western Balkans stated, “It is a great pleasure to share this moment full of exchange and positive energy to overcome this period and manage the stress well. We are delighted that thanks to the online event we are able to stay close to our customers. In these unprecedented times, it’s great to continue to offer people a specific place to learn, to network, and to be together. We were overwhelmed by the level of interest, engagement and the positive outcomes from the event. It’s just part of the U.S. Soy industry’s wider offer and commitment to our customers to support them. No effort will be spared by us to consolidate the relationships with U.S. soy customers and successfully implement our future events, in virtual, hybrid and physical formats."