USSEC held a Swine Nutrition & Feed Manufacturing Seminar in Poznań, Poland from January 12-14.
About 50 key employees of Agri Plus, Smithfield’s hog producing company in Poland, attended the conference. Among them there were nutritionists, veterinarians, hog farm managers, feed production specialists, regional swine growing advisors, and ingredient/feed quality control specialists, as well as ingredient procurement staff. USSEC Southeastern Europe consultant Iani Chihaia escorted a couple of colleagues representing Smithfield-Romania.
Agri Plus is a leading swine producer in Poland, producing some 1 million hogs annually at its 24 large and contract farms. It also produces 750 thousand metric tons (TMT) of feeds in 6 mills, directly employs 500 people and a further 6000 through farming contracts. It is a definite influencer of the Polish hog market.
The first day was attended mainly by feed group staff, which USSEC consultant Gonzalo G. Mateos briefed on the advantages of feeding soybean meal and other soy products vs. rapeseed meal to pigs. Dr. Enric Marco of Marcovetgrup in Barcelona, Spain taught interactions between nutrition and pathology in piglets and fatteners, and Dr. Domingo Carrion of Cargill Animal Nutrition in Spain spoke about feeding the fattening pigs, concentrating mainly on the impact of feeding programs, nutrition, health status, genetic background and production system. The rest of the day was devoted to feed manufacturing technology and quality control of ingredients and final feeds.
On the second day, USSEC’s conference room was filled with members of the Agri Plus swine farm production group, and the trainers focused on different aspects of feeding and health of the various production groups and interactions between management and pathology and nutrition. They also highlighted key areas for improvements. This group of participants listened to a lecture on the benefits of feeding U.S. soybean meal and soy products to modern pig lines. Discussion was a key element of the completed event.
At a closing dinner for speakers, organizers and top managers, Jarosław Niescier, Agri Plus’s (Poland) managing director of the feed group, commented, “The seminar was an extremely useful educational opportunity for our staff and the Polish swine sector as well. We gratefully appreciate USSEC’s contribution – know-how and funding and organizational effort – to our striving for an ongoing improvement of what we do.”
USSEC believes that working with market influencers such as Smithfield - Poland is a smart investment of U.S. Soy farmers’ dollars in rebuilding the strength of Polish hog production, which recently underwent a sharp slide from 21 million hogs to 11 million a year, thus increasing the market for U.S. Hi-Pro.