Finland's Taru Antikainen was elected as the new EPP vice president by members at the general meeting of the European Pig Producers (EPP) e.V. on June 7th 2019 in Landshut. She therefore succeeds the chairman of the German EPP Group, Jürgen Winkelmann, who no longer ran for a further term in office last year.
Taru Antikainen manages a closed farm with 330 sows and 1,200 fattening places. The farm additionally includes 330 hectares of farmland and 96 hectares of forest. She manages the farm, located in the south west of Finland, together with her husband and is specialised in the production of "omega-3 meat", which is obtained by adding canola oil to the feed. In addition – barring diseases in individual animals – no antibiotics are used. Taru Antikainen also regularly passes on the experience she has gained from 15 years of keeping pigs with undocked tails to the EU Commission and other professional colleagues who want to dispense with tail docking in the long term.
New EPP vice president Taru Antikainen
The first well-wisher was EPP president Gert van Beek, who was able to welcome 120 members and guests to the general meeting. In his report, he reflected on a successful 2018, a year in which the number of members was increased to its present level of 590. Van Beek was particularly delighted by the fact that many young pig farmers joined the club, thus lowering the average age of the network. He stated that the management board now wanted to concentrate on recruiting new prospects in countries with stagnating memberships.
For the first time in the almost 30-year history of the association, the Managing Board of the European Pig Producers (EPP) e.V. met from 13-15 March 2018 in Finland. In addition to working through the agenda, a visit to a pig farm and a large slaughterhouse and consulting company were scheduled.
The inaugural appearance of representatives from the South African Pork Producers’ Organisation (SAPPO) at the 2018 EPP Congress in Switzerland recently prompted a three-day reciprocal visit by the EPP to the Johannesburg / Praetoria region.
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.
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.