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Unprecedented growth potential at a cost

New technologies and information technology which can be used for management to reduce feed conversion ratios and improve animal health give unprecedented growth potential. That is what FEFAC president Ruud Tijssens concluded during the opening ceremony at VIV Europe in Utrecht.

However he foresees only limited growth in Europe, which doesn't match the international need for more food. Building restrictions and the societal acceptance of livestock production slow growth in Europe.

In a discussion with Professor Aalt Dijkhuizen he acknowledged that consumers in Europe are demanding that so called 'slow food' be produced close to home with extra demands for animal health and production circumstances. Dijkhuizen: "Slower growing animals consume more feed for the same output than regular grown animals. How do you see the demand for more feed, when feed commodities are becoming more and more scarce?''

Tijssens answer was: "The relative wealthy consumer in Europe will be able to pay a premium price for 'slow food', however the claim on feed due to social demands for production will come as a consequence. Feed ingredients will rise in price, a price the poorer countries will have to pay.''

Fabian Brockotter

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