One of the most rewarding parts of my career has been to see the International Poultry Council (IPC) develop and blossom these past 15 years into an organization that’s helping benefit and develop the global poultry industry so that it might help nourish an ever growing world population.
When Denmark’s Tage Lysgaard and I began hatching the idea of an international poultry organization in 1997, we never envisioned the organization that IPC has become today. Tage was general secretary of AVEC at the time, and I had been the president of USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC) for seven years. We both realized the issues and differences of opinion separating the poultry industry, but we knew they also had common interests. Our idea was simple: we believed that dialogue and building relationships were the keys to emphasizing the strengths and thus uniting the industries around the world for mutual benefit.
It took us eight years to get the three major players of the world’s poultry producers – the US, EU and Brazil – to agree to the concept of an international poultry organization. Then, in 2005 it finally happened — the IPC was organized in Cologne, Germany by representatives from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Egypt, the European Union, Mexico, Thailand, Turkey, and the United States, and perhaps because an accident kept me from attending, I was elected the first president. The rest, you might say, is history including the accomplishments of the IPC on behalf of the poultry industry.
Now, stepping down from the presidency after 14 years, I am proud that IPC is growing in membership and leading in the development of policies that will enable the poultry industry to meet the challenge of feeding a growing world population in the future. The IPC is now recognized by all the global standard setting and regulatory organizations, giving the industry a direct voice for the first time.
Today, IPC is leading the discussions of many industry issues that weren’t even recognized as important when it was formed. IPC has adopted positions on animal welfare, sustainability and food safety and with the recent membership of India, now represents some 90 percent of the world’s poultry industry.
IPC’s success has always been based on the relationships and trust developed by those who comprise our membership. But perhaps our best decision came out of our strategic planning meeting in Edinburgh Scotland, for it was there that we all agreed to hire a full time Secretary General. Our next best decision was to fill that position with Marilia Rangel Campos. She’s been an amazing leader and organizer.
Recently, I had the honor of hosting the IPC meeting in New Orleans. It was a great meeting at which we both remembered one of our fallen soldiers as well as transitioned into new leadership. I have great comfort in knowing that I will be succeeded by an outstanding leader who has served on our Executive Committee for many years. Robin Horel will take the IPC to new heights, working with other EC members who are also highly motivated.
I plan to continue as president of USAPEEC and serve as the treasurer of IPC for a few more years. If the good Lord is willing. With poultry’s rise to the king of protein, these are exciting times for the IPC.
I have confidence in the members of the IPC as well as our new president and Secretary General to continue building the relationships necessary that will enable the poultry industry to meet the challenges ahead. It’s been a pleasure to have been a part of it all. Thanks for giving me that opportunity.