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Pablo Anhalzer is president of CONAVE in Ecuador, -Ecuador Poultry Farmer National Corporation- a union that brings together about 80% of chicken meat producers and 12% of table-egg producers.
CONAVE has 20 years of activity and has become the benchmark in the poultry activity in the country. One of its main function is the institutional representation of the poultry sector of the country, as well as scientific, technical and statistical supply production of all the productive chain. On the other hand, it is also responsible for the sector’s legal framework analysis (sanitary, environmental, labor, foreign trade) and its implications. Other activities include diffusion and promotion of the application of good poultry practices.
Would you tell us how the Latin American Poultry Association is structured and what are its main functions?
The Latin American Poultry Association (ALA, for the acronym in Spanish) was created in 1970, as a poultry development Latin American body. It is a non-profit institution that, applying equity and transparency principles, ensures bonding of member countries. It is a platform for the exchange and diffusion of knowledge, technology and experience in relation to the environment and encouragement of fair competition.
It is comprised of a Board of Directors which is chosen every two years. It has a Chairman, an Executive Director and a Scientific Technical Committee (CTC, for its acronym in Spanish), a Commercial Issues Committee and the Egg Latin American Institute (ILH, for its acronym in Spanish).
ALA comprises Latin American countries and the Caribbean region, represented by the main association of the poultry sector of each country. Today it participates in FAO and WHO activities, as a non-governmental organization, observing party in the CODEX.
What can you tell us about the agenda of the XXIV Latin American Poultry Congress of Guayaquil City 2015?
The Guayaquil Congress will be a technical-scientific and commercial conference. During the three-day Congress, technical talks and conferences will be given, in five halls and three official languages at the same time, on matters of the sector’s interest in the region. Academic content concentration shall be in the morning and early afternoon (8h30 to 14h00).
A total of more than 60 themed talks will be given in Guayaquil City Convention Center, with the most important speakers categorized by area, avian health, nutrition, poultry production and business topics. It will particularly feature more than 230 companies. 350 Stands have been commercialized for the trade fair.
What does it mean for you to be responsible for the organization of the Congress and what do you expect from it?
For us, as the organizing team and Ecuadorian poultry sector, it is both very challenging and equally satisfactory. The appointment as a host is a recognition for the country and its capabilities.
This congress is one of the most important ones made in Guayaquil City and in the country, since we expect 3000 people.
It involved not only ALA and CONAVE internal efforts, but also efforts from third-party partners such as the Guayaquil’s local council, companies and organizations.
Ecuador was already the seat of the XII Congress in 1992, with a participation of 1200 people. On that occasion, our parents, visionary businessmen which created national and regional unions, successfully faced the challenge.
We are a new generation facing new times with a strengthened industry, which is confronted with the difficulties and which has become a backbone of economic development and feed source. We expect to attain the same success with this congress as well as with all regional industry activities.
While the congress is taking place, ALA’s regular meetings shall be held and you sound like a candidate to chair it next year – What do you think about such possibility?
If colleagues from the regional industry trust us with this responsibility, we are ready to accept it. We believe that we can strengthen the trade association and exploit its huge potential through the development of new plans and projects and strengthening the already existing ones, always with the joint commitment and work of all the involved parties.
How will the holding of the Congress in your country affect Ecuador’s poultry sector?
Since it is a very important and crowded event, there will be a very positive impact. It’s the opportunity to gather and get familiar with the global progress. Benefits will not only be for the sector but also for economic activities and tourism.
Tha mayor of Guayaquil City has recognized this and has made a commitment on the part of the city to support it.
How did global economic changes affect Ecuador’s chicken market?
Ecuador’s poultry industry production provides 100% domestic demand. Variations and fluctuations which are typical of any productive activity occur and the market finds an equilibrium within the country.
In Ecuador, a decrease in live chicken prices was registered which has been overcome with internal actions which have been undertaken. The price is currently in balance.
Is there a trend to improve production facilities?
It is estimated that about 70% of broiler chicken production in the country are modernized, which implies farms having different infrastructure levels. There are facilities which use state-of-the-art technology and they stand out. Egg production has similar characteristics.
There are expectations of continuing the improvement of production infrastructure, as demand increases.
In conclusion, what can you tell us about chicken production in Ecuador and its future?
In 1990, 50 million chickens were produced in the country; today, about 220 million chickens are produced per year. This implies a 400% growth. In the country, it is the most popular, lower-cost animal protein. According to a poultry census in 2006, carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (MaGaP, for its acronym in Spanish), 1600 poultry farms were identified.
In regards to biosecurity, we have a strict control and monitoring in order to keep problems away from our facilities
How would you describe Ecuador’s poultry sector situation with respect to the situation of its neighboring countries?
Generally speaking, in countries in the Andean region, aviculture has developed to adequate levels of modernization, attaining high efficacy conversion rates.
There are different market sizes in regards to volume production related to the population of countries. In South America, there are countries which even export to other continents, such as Argentina, Brazil and Chile.
Ecuador has a national poultry health plan wherein the elimination of Newcastle disease is contemplated. Definitive results are expected in the next five-year period.
Apart from your hatchery, do you have other aviculture-related businesses?
Our group is comprised of breeder’s farms, hatching, broiler and restaurants.
At present, companies are independent, but coordinately administered. On the one hand, we have reproduction and hatching; and on the other, fattening and slaughtering, in addition to owning our own feed mill.
Today, we have about 400.000 breeders.
How many hatcheries do you have and what are their hatching capacities?
We have 32 hatching machines. Our hatching capacity exceeds 800.000 chicks weekly, which we deliver sexed and vaccinated.
We deliver throughout the country from our hatcheries. We are seriously and timely when delivering chicks to our clients.
We can increase production rather easily if the market grows, since we have space ready to increase the number of incubators and hatchers.
How and where do you market your production?
The baby chicks reach our customers directly by trucks, which are appropriate for the delivery.
Slaughtered chickens are delivered in warehouses of subsequent process of the chain of restaurants and from there to each of the stores, while ensuring an appropriate health management in each of the steps.
What grade of automation do the company’s hatching rooms have? What is the median load capacity of your hatcheries?
In regards to automation, we try to keep ourselves updated as much as possible. We were the first ones to have single-stage setting for broilers, and also were the first ones to introduce in ovo vaccination. However, we are still far from being 100% automated.
We have both types of incubators, multi-stage and single-stage. We started with the multi-stage incubators and, little by little, we passed to single-stage ones.
Single-stage is the future, it not only guarantees a better health quality but also the chick’s quality is superior.
How are the company’s processes organized in relation to work and its management?
Distance between farms and hatcheries is one of the most crucial aspects when performing the logistics of the company.
At present, we are migrating breeder’s farms to an area much closer to the hatchery.
Not only because of logistics, but also because of health aspects, production centers or raw material reception etc. We are still working on details in order to become increasingly efficient.
The breeding and fattening group generates about 800 direct jobs.
What role does the hatch window play in the hatchery’s management?
The better we handle these and other concepts, the better the final product will be. The chick’s quality is significantly different if this is done correctly.
What role does the shell’s temperature play when controlling the hatchery’s temperature?
We try to control many aspects. We measure the shells’ temperature in order to set up appropriate hatching programs per breed and per age of the breeder, allowing us to garner the best outcome from the hatched eggs.
In relation to the transport of hatching eggs and chicks, what mechanisms do you have in place, in order to ensure transportation quality?
The transport of hatching eggs is climatized, i.e refrigerated, in order to get the job done in the best possible way.
Even though roads are significantly better now, we still transport the eggs in boxes and not in incubation carts, in order to guarantee their integrity.
regarding chicks’ transport, it is essential to control temperature, humidity and air circulation in order to have the appropriate conditions in the whole truck.
Besides product transport and delivery hours.
What factors must be considered when hatching at the latitude of the location of your hatcheries?
No, the same parameters must be considered. Hatching is not carried out in the mountains or near Quito wherein height above sea level is 2800 meters.
Lack of oxygen, when hatching at heights, plays a very important role in the percentage of births and this is why we hatch our eggs on the coast where height is not very important.
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