The shows and conferences, April 8-10, attracted senior trade visitors from Thailand and throughout South and South East Asia; about 30% of attendees were from outside Thailand.
The general elections in India and Indonesia meant fewer visitors from those countries, but the biggest problem of all was the civil unrest in Thailand and especially in Bangkok. Many visitors were uneasy about travelling to Thailand after the negative publicity concerning the civil unrest and demonstrations in the country’s capital. However not one exhibitor cancelled or even asked to cancel, organizers said.
The event organizers, Victam International BV of The Netherlands, held the first ever ASEAN Feed & Rice Symposium during the event. A full auditorium of industry VIPs listened to the keynote speeches, which were delivered by senior executives from the Asian Development Bank, the ASEAN Economic Community and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Transcripts of these speeches can be found on www.victam.com.
These included issues such as the impact of the ASEAN free trade zone on the feed and rice industries and critical feed safety, security and sustainability issues facing the region in 2015 and beyond.
Another first for this event was the inaugural session of the ASEAN Feed Summit, again organized by Victam International BV and hosted by the Thai Feed Mill Association. Held in closed session and chaired by Pornsil Patchrintanakul, president of the Thai Feed Mill Association, and moderated by Alexandra de Athayde, IFIF executive director, brought together senior feed regulators and industry representatives from Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
During the discussion a number of issues were identified for further potential cooperation, including capacity development for feed safety, efforts towards regulatory harmonization, as well as the need to work with all stakeholders in the agri-food chain on common challenges.
Mario Sergio Cutait, IFIF chairman, welcomed “the opportunity to join this important Summit and to work towards closer collaboration in Asia.”
The summit concluded in the formation of a Federation of ASEAN Feed Associations and the chairman, Patchrintanakul, was elected unanimously.