This month's World Pork Congress will provide a clear example of how globalised the industry has become. Keynote speakers at the event include Raoul Baxter, European president of Smithfield Foods, the world's largest food company and Igor Babaev, president and CEO of the Cherkizovsky Agroindustrial Group, the biggest agricultural and production complex in Russia.
Babaev will be looking at future demand trends for pork in the Russian Federation while Baxter will be taking a similar tack but concentrating on the USA and where he sees it going, both in terms of domestic consumption and expanding exports.
The Cherkisovsky Agroindustrial Group specialises in the assortment of meat products such as fresh meat, sausages, ham and frankfurters as well as a wide assortment of poultry and milk products. The group includes more than 30 companies located in various Russian regions.
Cherkisovsky operates nine meat processing plants, seven poultry plants and two of the largest pig breeding farms in Moscow and Ulianovsk. It also runs the largest factory producing mixed fodder in Russia.
Smithfield is the world's largest pork processor and pig producer. The company processes 20 million pigs and raises 12 million annually. Outside the United States, Smithfield owns subsidiaries in Canada, France, Poland, and the United Kingdom and operates joint ventures in Brazil, Mexico, and China. The firm employs more than 40,000 people worldwide.
BPEX chief executive Mick Sloyan said: "We are delighted to have speakers of such calibre at the congress. These two, together with Mr Wan Long of the Chinese firm Shineway are major players on the international markets.
"Between them they employ 80,000 people and produce millions of tonnes of pig meat and processed products every year."
The congress, which will take place at the Birmingham International Convention Centre on the 19 and 20 June 2003, is being organised by the British Pig Executive (BPEX) and the Meat and Livestock Commission (MLC) in conjunction with the International Meat Secretariat (IMS).
For further information about the congress, or to book a place, visit the website www.worldporkcongress.com.