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On the occasion of the upcoming XVI European Poultry Conference (EPC), to be held June 24-28 in Valencia (Spain), AviNews International had the privilege of interviewing Carlos Garcés Narro, PhD, president of the EPC and professor at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the CEU Cardenal Herrera University in Valencia (Spain).

What is the European Poultry Conference about?

The European Poultry Conference is a congress that encompasses all areas of knowledge related to poultry, including:

  • Nutrition
  • Health
  • Welfare
  • Product quality
  • Smart farming
  • Sustainability
  • Economics
  • And more

The conference is promoted and organized within the European Federation of the World’s Poultry Science Association (EF WPSA) every four years. Each edition of the conference is held in a different country as the venue. This edition will be held in Valencia.

What can attendees expect from this conference?

  • The conference will focus on the latest scientific and technical advancements in poultry, presented through plenary sessions, parallel sessions, and a commercial exhibition.
  • Additionally, there will be a social program, including a gala dinner, providing an opportunity to exchange experiences with scientists and colleagues from the poultry industry.
  • Sponsor participation is crucial for the conference, as they assist in funding the organization of the event.
  • Sponsors will also have opportunities to participate in the commercial exhibition and host company meetings.
  • The expected number of attendees is approximately 1,600 from both academia and industry sectors.

How have your years in charge of the conference been?

What is the vision of the EF-WPSA for the future of poultry farming in Europe?

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Poultry farming is highly dynamic and resilient.

In fact, it is one of the livestock sectors most capable of withstanding economic and social crises, adapting to new production models.

As a key sector in providing food for European citizens, primarily in the form of meat and eggs, poultry will face the coming challenges and will undoubtedly emerge from them successfully.

What are the association’s main objectives and priorities for the coming year?

The objectives of the association are very stable and clear:

What challenges is the European poultry industry currently facing and how is the association addressing these challenges?

The poultry industry in Europe faces significant challenges, including:

These challenges are complex and require careful management. The objective of the WPSA is to assist in achieving success in addressing these challenges effectively.

What initiatives or programs is the association promoting to foster research and development in the field of poultry farming?

The WPSA promotes poultry science, aiding researchers in achieving their research objectives and facilitating their dissemination to the industry.

Continuous interaction between academia and industry is crucial for aligning research objectives.

The organization hosts congresses and symposia, publishes a quarterly journal, and provides travel grants to attend various conferences, all of which are primary objectives of the association.

How does it collaborate with other organizations and institutions at the European and international level to promote the interests of poultry farming?

The WPSA is one of the organizations that maintains continuous communication with European institutions, aiming to address the questions in poultry science that are essential for both institutions and producers to advance and enhance poultry production efficiency and sustainability.

What role does the association play in promoting animal welfare in the European poultry industry?

The WPSA’s European Federation has a dedicated working group focused on animal welfare.

Within this group, top researchers collaborate to conduct and disseminate research findings.

Every two years, a symposium centered on poultry welfare is held in a different European country.

We believe that the discourse surrounding animal welfare is of paramount importance, and the association is deeply committed to addressing this issue.

How are European poultry practices adapting to changes in consumer demand and government regulations?

As we have already mentioned, the poultry industry is highly dynamic and constantly endeavors to adapt to shifts in consumer preferences, societal changes, and government regulations.

The poultry industry maintains close ties with society to ensure the provision of high-quality food that is sustainable, environmentally respectful, and upholds animal welfare standards.

Various production methods coexist within poultry farming, offering consumers a range of options.

Given Europe’s diverse geographical landscape, it is essential to encompass all these options to cater to the needs of consumers effectively.

What opportunities and challenges does digitalization and technology present in modern poultry farming, and how is the association addressing these?

Digitalization is an important tool in our evolving world, and the poultry industry is not turning its back on this trend. On the contrary, all technologies are welcomed into the poultry industry.

The application of technology poses a challenge in integrating it into the entire production process.

Throughout the supply chain, technology continuously adapts processes.

Smart farming is emerging as a vital tool for farmers in the initial stages, helping them achieve more efficient, controlled, environmentally friendly, and worker-animalfriendly production.

In line with this, the WPSA includes discussions on technology application in all its general meetings, with a significant number of research groups in this area actively participating.

What steps is the association taking to promote environmental and economic sustainability in the European poultry industry?

What is the association’s role in the education and training of poultry professionals?

Of course, education is one of the primary goals of the WPSA, enabling future and new poultry specialists to acquire knowledge of the latest trends in poultry science and industry.

Every WPSA congress or symposium features a youth program aimed at encouraging young people to participate in the poultry industry, applying the latest knowledge and addressing the challenges of contemporary society.

At the EPC, 40 young scientists will participate in this youth program, engaging in activities focused on both industry and research throughout the conference.

How is the association addressing antimicrobial resistance and other public health concerns related to poultry?

What opportunities for collaboration exist for poultry researchers and professionals through the association?

One of the goals of the WPSA is to bridge the gap between academia and industry.

The participation of both sectors in our meetings, such as the upcoming EPC, is instrumental in strengthening these connections.

Many of the ideas shared at these meetings serve as the foundation for academia and industry to initiate new projects, resulting in valuable discoveries beneficial to both the industry and society.

Poultry researchers develop highly applicable science that often proves beneficial to professionals in the poultry sector.

How is the association promoting diversity and inclusion in the European poultry industry?

The WPSA is actively promoting inclusion and diversity within the poultry science through various initiatives. By fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment at its events and conferences, the association ensures that individuals from diverse backgrounds feel valued and represented. Additionally, achieving gender balance between women and men is an objective in our congresses and symposia.

What are the association’s most notable achievements in recent years and what are your plans for the future?



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