During this year’s Cattle & Pig Event at EuroTier 2018 our former president Erik Thijssen was honored by DLG president Hubertus Paetow. For his “candid, communicative and selfless nature” Erik Thijssen was awarded with the DLG silver medal for international relationship. Over his nine years of presidency countries like Ireland, Finland and Switzerland joined EPP alongside 80 new members. To Paetow, this indicates the success of Thijssen’s work.
Also our new president Gert van Beek congratulated Erik Thijssen on this occasion and addressed the challenges pig producers in Europe are currently facing. Caught in a predicament of upcoming statutory requirements (such as anesthetized castration, free farrowing or emission restrictions) on the one side and the constant threat of an ASF outbreak on the other side, European pig producers need to handle developments they have a severely limited influence on. However, van Beek also states that there are opportunities in these challenges as long as the additional requirements are paid by the market.
As EPP / Pig farmers we are already involved since the first outbreak years ago. Till last week it enters our nearby region it seems the rest of world is awakening. This could help us to control the challenge, and we should take that opportunity with both hands.
At the General Assembly of the European Pig Producers (EPP) e.V. in Sursee (Switzerland) on 1 June 2018, the members elected Gert van Beek (51) from the Netherlands as their new President. He won the election in a secret ballot ahead of his fellow candidate Hugh McReynolds (56) from Ireland and thus succeeds Erik Thijssen, who had headed the Club for the last nine years.
During a week-long study trip from 17 – 24 September 2017 to the Midwest, 32 members of the EPP gained some interesting insights into pig production in the US. The group visited farms in Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin to share information and experiences with famers in these regions.
Some 480 attendants from both - cattle and pig industry participated in this year’s event which was organised for the first time as common event at the eve of EuroTier. EPP-President Erik Thijssen mentioned the different views on animal welfare between the agriculture sector and consumers. This discussion is going to be continued also in the coming years, so it’s important to work on this different views & ideas together. Dr. Martin Scholten and Robert Hoste from Wageningen University & Research (Netherlands) as key note speakers informed why modern precision farming fosters careful livestock production. Sustainability is a big issue within this aspect in order to maximum production of human edible proteins per hectare of land without depletion of productivity and biodiversity. From the economical point of view transition is needed from a cost driven to an added-value approach. The alive discussion after the speeches and during the get-together showed the great interest in the topic and finally the presentations and statements of both speakers.
Interested persons can find the presentations here: