The Danish Pig Academy (DPA) is a brand new initiative. In total 22 companies in sectors surrounding the pig industry together set up a showroom where they can show their products and services to potential customers from Denmark and further afield.
Even abroad all participating companies within the Danish Pig Academy presented themselves jointly. That could be seen for instance in November 2018, when at the livestock event EuroTier in Hanover, Germany, visitors were welcomed and introduced to the DPA.
The DPA’s joint showroom is located at the headquarters of livestock equipment company Aco Funki, in Herning, Denmark. In fact, the showroom is like a continuous small-size trade show.
Torben Olesen, sales director at Aco Funki, is DPA chairman. He explains that the idea to join forces started in 2016, with the effectuation in October 2017. Mr Olesen says that every week there are visitors, of which 90% comes from abroad. Especially November 2018 was a busy month, with 3 groups of visitors from Poland, China and Japan dropping by in 2 consecutive days. The advantage for foreign visitors is that they can get a relatively complete picture of what can be found in Denmark, pig-wise, which saves in travelling hours.
The area is not only used for product display – DPA members also organise seminars and workshops for pig producers from Denmark as well as abroad. From time to time, external experts are invited to be keynote speakers on certain themes. Money is available for these purposes within the DPA – its total budget is about € 55,000 annually. That money will also cover heating costs or marketing expenses.
Some of the 22 DPA members are working in the same business, but for them that is not an issue, according to Mr Olesen. Every company would like to do business, he says. Mr Olesen says, “We appreciate open discussions with customers. The most important is that customers leave with a satisfied feeling. I’m pleased if we can see we inspired the visitors upon their departure.”
The other side of the collective approach is that members can also help others find new customers. Should a certain pig producer or investor visit the place for equipment purposes, but also ask questions about genetics, then Mr Olsen can easily direct the visitor to other members within the DPA. Another advantage: it is possible to look at a pig house design together. When more than one company is involved in a design for a customer, there will be input from more than one side. That enhances the harmonisation of all elements.
The DPA has a residential area for 17 beds, which allows for an overnight stay, lunch or dinner. Even excursions to a Danish farm is possible, on condition of a quarantine period of 48 hours within Denmark, prior to the excursions.
With all these different opportunities, it is no surprise that spacing is the major limitation. New participating companies are still more than welcome to join, but Mr Olesen admits, some good thinking is required to squeeze them all in next to the other 22.
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