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IEC Discusses Bird Flu, International Challenges

13 September 2012, at 10:09am

UK - Forty-one countries were represented in London at the International Egg Commission (IEC) conference, and on 11 September, representatives from 14 countries addressed delegates and discussed the challenges and the opportunities that their national egg industries are currently dealing with.

Representatives from Europe, South Africa, Asia, North and South America shared their experiences and discussed current market trends and conditions. One of the resounding messages, repeated time and again from representatives from egg industries right across the globe, is that rising commodity prices are making life very difficult for egg producers everywhere.

Delegates were particularly interested to hear from Cesar de Anda and Sergio Chavez from Mexico, as they described in detail the impact of Avian Influenza.

Now three months after the outbreak was reported, Mr de Anda reassured the egg industry that the country has the virus under control. Egg producers and government worked in partnership, developing a new vaccination which has now been used with good effect. Mr de Anda praised the Mexican egg producers for their quick and effective response; local egg producers took the difficult but effective decision to cull birds to prevent the spread of the virus. Mr de Anda described this as, “a very very tough decision” as well as a “very responsible one”.

Mr de Anda and Mr Chavez explained to the IEC that Mexico’s per capita egg consumption is the largest in the world; approximately 50 million people rely on eggs as an affordable meal choice.

The next 12 months will be a very difficult time for Mexico’s egg industry, as well as for the Mexican population dependent on eggs for food. However, Mr de Anda is confident that by April/May 2013, Mexico’s egg production will be back to the same level as it was earlier this year.

He concluded his presentation looking for a positive outcome from this situation, telling the IEC: “The good things are that now Mexico knows that we are very important in international egg production; Mexico knows that the egg protein is one of the most important in our Mexican diet!”

Further Reading

You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.