First Day of Conference
Today was the first day of “getting down to business” here at the Five Nations Beef Alliance Conference and Tour. We have come a long way from Corpus Christi up to Austin over the last 4 days, getting to know each other as well as learning all about ranching and feedlotting in Texas. There’s such a variety of farm systems and different styles of farming across the state.
Now we are at the Hyatt Lost Pines Resort in Cedar Creek, just out of Austin, which is an amazing venue with a lot of awesome history behind it, however I digress!
Starting the day off was a welcome by NCBA President Bob McCan to the respective delegations from each of the five nations and also to the members who have made the trip to the conference from ACRIMAT representing Brazil and ARP from Paraguay. Each of the member countries then responded with the state of play in each of their nations and of course, commented on how great it has been to see this part of the world’s industry over the past few days of touring. The Texan people have been truly wonderful and welcoming as well.
Zoetis is a great supporter of the Alliance and this year’s conference. Rob Kelly (Vice President – US Cattle & Equine division) spoke on behalf of the company and gave a overview of the company since its move away from where it was as part of Pfizer. He also touched on how as a separate business now, Zoetis can give so much more back to the beef industry around the world. Zoetis as a company operates in each of the member countries and is no doubt an integral part of each country’s industry providing best fit solutions to farmers’ and ranchers’ animal health problems.
Because Zoetis draws so much of its business from the agricultural sector, up to 70% of its core, they have a saying within the company “so goes agriculture – so goes Zoetis!” This is a definite indicator that a company such as this, is in for the long haul – definitely good to see!
As a result of them being in for the long haul, they are committed to helping the development of the youth within our sector. This is one of the reasons that the company came on board with the Five Nations Beef Alliance as the Alliance has developed its Young Leaders program. As the 2014 FNBA Young Leaders we would all like to express our thanks to Zoetis for this support.
Next up to the lectern to speak was Brett Stewart from Global Agritrends in Denver.
Brett spoke about the current state of play around the world in terms of beef production, where it is likely to head in the future. and I must say, the future for Beef as a protein source is looking bright.
Some main points pulled from his presentation:
More People live in Asia than the rest of the world. – Asia is probably the biggest export market for the FNBA as a whole.
In China specifically – their average income has grown by 138% since 2000 so they can afford to buy a lot more of our products should they so choose.
Currently the world population is growing by 78 Million people per year and of the world’s population only 4% are farmers providing for the rest. By 2050 the world population is expected to reach 9.1 Billion people and as a result more food will be needed over the next 50 years than has been consumed in the last 7000 years!!
As a result Brett suggested “don’t skate to the puck, – skate to where the puck is going to be!” By this we need to understand the changing needs of the consumer – specifically Asia and aim to meet what they are going to be requiring in the future.
After lunch we learned about the respective industries in both Brazil and Paraguay and how they are facing a lot of the same issues as the rest of FNBA. This was important to the FNBA as the Alliance approved observer status for both parties. The Alliance is looking forward to the fresh perspective that both Brazil and Paraguay bring to the table.
Both Lauren and I (James) have enjoyed the trip immensely over the past week, we have both learned an enormous amount and will each take a lot home to our respective operations and companies. Thank you all very much for the experience of a life time and especially to Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Thank you.
James Bryan, Lauren McWilliam – New Zealand Young Beef Leaders