Editor’s note: The event featured in this story took place prior to the USSEC travel ban due to COVID-19.
Turkey production in the EU has steadily grown over the last two decades. In Eastern Europe, turkey production has risen significantly over the past few years and is projected to catch up with the rest of the EU countries. Based on the latest market trends and consumer preferences, it is estimated that the average growth rate of turkey production in the EU will be at least as high as in recent years, resulting in a significant increase in feed production and an increased demand for high quality protein ingredients, particularly U.S. Soy.
The South East European / Romanian meat market has reached a stage where diversification in the poultry meat production is imminent. There are already important investments in turkey farms. Since turkey production requires different management, feeding, and nutrition, Romanian poultry specialists need training on the most recent information on turkey production and the use of protein ingredients in feeding these highly valued birds.
In an effort to assist South East Europe’s fast-growing poultry Industry, USSEC offered an opportunity to attend the most important European turkey conference organized by Turkeytimes, in Chester, United Kingdom from March 4 to 6, to a select team of U.S. soy customers from leading Romanian poultry companies.
Conference director James Bentley hosted the two-day event. TurkeyTimes is the leading meeting point for the European turkey industry, bringing together delegates from a range of European countries to meet with colleagues and friends to explore new opportunities. About 150 people from all over Europe attended this year’s turkey conference with the goal to listen to the latest news in the field of science and production for the turkey industry.
The program was of major interest with subjects that touched on all aspects of turkey poultry production, nutrition, and health. This included aspects of turkey feed formulation and quality of the protein ingredients, amino acids digestibility, and feed quality. Conference speakers delivered a clear message to the audience: the use of high-quality protein ingredients in turkey feeding is essential. Thus, soy products remain essential in these diets. Soybean meal is the most commonly used protein source in poultry diets because its nutritional profile matches with cereal grains to meet the turkey birds’ requirements. As the amino acid digestibility plays a crucial role in efficient feeding, U.S. Soy is able to support better turkey nutrition and performance.
The participation of USSEC consultants Dr. Jan van Eys (USSEC France) and Dr. Iani Chihaia (USSEC Romania) in the conference allowed exchanges on nutritional aspects of turkey poultry production and provided ample opportunity to underline the critical roles of U.S. Soy and USSEC in this area. It stimulated interest from conference participants to learn more about the differences in soy product according to region and subsequent treatment, such value-added soy products.
Attendees left with a great appreciation for the opportunity to attend this event. Their reaction should lead to enhancements and expansion in turkey production, which will be favorable for future demand for quality ingredients, especially U.S. soy products.
“As we benefited from quality information from the conference in the UK, we thank the U.S. soy industry and USSEC who played a crucial role in making our group participation at the conference possible,” says Dr. Chihaia. “Also, a sincere thank you to the conference director Mr. James Bentley and his colleagues for all of their efforts to organize the participation of our group in this event. It has been an excellent opportunity to meet old friends and make new friends on the ‘TurkeyTimes Planet.’ We would also like to express our sincere gratitude to the commercial companies from the Chester area who welcomed our group for technical discussions. We believe that this event will be the beginning of an increase in turkey poultry production in Romania, and indeed increase in U.S. soybean meal consumption.”