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26th SPACE: Looking to the Future

2 October 2012, at 9:33am

FRANCE - The 26th SPACE trade fair took place from 11 to 14 September 2012 in Rennes in a very positive atmosphere, with much high-quality dialogue, both at exhibitors’ stands and at the 50 organised conferences.

According to many exhibitors, contacts with visitors were very productive for all types of livestock farming, as well as for the vast array of equipment providers exhibited outside. This equipment area gave the SPACE fair a whole new dimension, with three hectares devoted to presenting a highly comprehensive range of machinery.

This 26th SPACE fair proved that in spite of a context marked by the soaring cost of raw materials, farmers have big plans for the future.

The 1,300 exhibitors, including 360 from abroad, were spread out across 62,500 m² of stands (a new exhibitor record) and attracted over 109,000 visitors (109,035 precisely), equalling 2011 attendance levels, with a notable 10 per cent increase in the number of international visitors from 110 countries (a total of 11,080 foreign visitors).

This international attendance was marked by the diversity of visitors’ origins, with a large number of visitors from neighbouring European countries (Spain, Italy, Ireland, Great Britain and Belgium in particular) and large delegations from more distant locations, such as Egypt, Turkey, South-East Asia, West Africa and Brazil. Exhibitors were also pleased to note a significant evolution in the number of international decision-makers (ministers included) and investors present.

Furthermore, these visitors were so interested in the SPACE that they felt the need to spend several days at the fair.

The national and international attractiveness of the animal services offered at the SPACE, particularly the exceptional quality of the animals on show and the organisation of competitions, have enhanced its reputation as the world’s benchmark trade fair in animal genetics. In the same vein, the SPACE organised the world’s first auction of genotyped animals from suckling breeds (Limousine).

On the theme of buildings and equipment for the future, the Research and Development area presented numerous technological innovations for tomorrow’s livestock farming, which drew many breeders interested in technology and high-performance for their future projects. They also showed great interest in this year’s 47 INNOV’SPACE award winners.

Lastly, the official visit of the French President accompanied by three of his ministers was evidence of his support for agriculture and farming. His first agriculture-themed speech was an opportunity to highlight the importance of this major industry and all those involved in it for their contribution to the national economy to France’s balance of payments and to the vibrancy of its regions and their employment market. This speech also enabled the President to present his general plans for the development of a farming industry that produces more and better, to help retain its world ranking and set a major goal for the future.