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VIV Asia 2019: Feed, food and animal health

The world of agriculture will meet again in Bangkok, Thailand, 13-15 March 2019, for another edition of one of Asia’s major international animal husbandry events: VIV Asia. As an extra element this year, the event will focus on food engineering.

Anybody visiting Thailand for the first time since the last edition of VIV Asia (March 2017), should pay some extra attention to the banknotes. Bit by bit, banknotes have started to appear with the image of king Vajiralongkorn, who has succeeded his father Bhumibol. The previous king died in October 2016.

In March 2017, Thailand was still mourning the passing of their king; this year the banknote change sums up the current situation in the country very well: it is in transition. Not only is the country still awaiting the official coronation of king Vajiralongkorn, also elections are scheduled for 24 March, which should lead to the first democratically elected government since the army took over in 2014.

Aerial shot of VIV Asia 2017. Photo: VNU
Aerial shot of VIV Asia 2017. Photo: VNU

Agriculture always continues

Far from the political developments, agriculture has always been a permanent factor in the background. Thai companies have been thriving in recent years. New developments include the announcement of phasing out of gestation crates for sows by various major Thai companies like Betagro and Charoen Pokphand. One other topic that will receive attention will be African Swine Fever (ASF) in Asia. By now it has become crystal clear what the virus can do to swine farms in China – and more than ever, the saying is true: forewarned is forearmed.

In addition, a further reduction of antibiotics is a topic that has been important in Thailand for several years. At VIV Asia 2017, various events were aimed at this issue and at VIV Asia 2019 it will be no different. For instance, at Pig Progress’ Health & Nutrition Seminar at VIV Asia on Wednesday, 13 March, Prof Seksom Attamangkune of Kasetsart University, Thailand, will delve deeper into that topic, e.g. how to minimise drugs, antibiotics and chemicals in pig production.

As always, the 2019 edition of VIV Asia will be held at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Center (BITEC). For this year’s edition, over 1,250 exhibitors are expected to be present. As the 2017 edition drew almost 46,000 visitors from 127 countries, this year’s edition of the multi-species, feed-to-food show is expected to hit the 50,000 mark.

Special emphasis on food engineering

Not only is Thailand changing politically, but so is the country’s lifestyle. In fact, in the entire continent a lifestyle change has been going on for some time. Ready-to-eat products are increasingly widely available in Thailand and this demand is growing in other Asian countries as well. Since all these markets demand products like meatballs, sausages and processed meat products, the theme ‘Food Engineering’ will receive extra attention at VIV Asia. In total, there will be a presentation of products and services of more than 100 global suppliers. That includes the complete post-farm chain from slaughtering and processing to logistics, refrigeration, food ingredients and packaging. The focus comes with a conference programme.

Last but not least, it is worth pointing to an interesting event in the days prior to VIV Asia. From 11-13 March, the sixth edition of the Global Feed & Food Congress will be held in Bangkok as well. This event, which is a collaboration between the International Feed Industry Federation (IFIF) and VIV Asia, will be held under the theme ‘The future of Feed & Food – are we ready?’.

Find Pig Progress at VIV Asia in H103.1714 – and come and attend our special Health & Nutrition Seminar on Wednesday, 13 March, at 10.30am in meeting room 224.

By Vincent ter Beek, editor, Pig Progress