top ad980
HOME > Opening of Agromek-livestock

Opening of Agromek-livestock

Welcome speech by the Chairman of the Agromek Exhibition Committee, Managing Director Peter Hansen

Ladies and Gentlemen!

As Chairman of Agromek, I am delighted and proud to welcome you all to the Agromek-livestock Exhibition.

Agromek-livestock is the first international exhibition in Northern Europe to be specifically directed at livestock farming.

Welcome to our invited guests and to the many representatives of the Press.

Welcome to farmers and all other visitors from Denmark and from many other countries.

Welcome to our exhibitors and their employees on the stands.

I extend a special welcome to Ove Møberg who is Chairman of the Board of Arla Foods. Ove Møberg has agreed to hold the opening speech for our very first Agromek-livestock Exhibition.

Thank you for your acceptance. I look forward to hearing your opening speech and to accompanying you around the Exhibition this afternoon to study some of the important New Product exhibits.

Cattle farmers and pig producers
in the international super league

At Arla, you operate on a multi-national level in severe competition with major suppliers of food products from other countries. The same situation also applies to Danish Crown.

Competition is severe – due to the fact that consumers demand the best food products at the lowest possible costs.

In Arla and Danish Crown, you can be gratified that you have owners and suppliers in the international super league regarding efficiency, environment, working environment and livestock welfare.
For these reasons, Danish cattle farmers, Danish pig producers and Danish farmers in general are highly respected by their colleagues in other countries.

This is also the background for, year after year, that we are visited by large numbers of foreign farmers, agricultural advisors and machine dealers at the various Agromek exhibitions here in Herning.

They have attended these exhibitions in order to study Danish farming techniques and to examine the machines and technology which the Danish manufacturers have developed and produced in fruitful cooperation with Danish farmers, researchers and advisors.

The largest and most important
business sector in Denmark

During the many years since 1966, Danish farmers have increased their productivity by an impressive average of 6.7 percent per annum.

No other business sector in Denmark can boast of production growth anywhere near this level. The industrial and transport sectors have attained approximately half of this growth increase and the building sector has attained approximately one fifth of this productivity growth increase during the same period.

This high increase in agricultural productivity is mainly channelled towards the attainment of constantly lower food prices.

We Danish consumers apply only about 10 percent of our private expenditure for food products. Forty years ago, the comparitive figure was 19 percent.

The agricultural sector’s continued rationalization is thus one of the most important factors for affluence here in Denmark.

The agricultural and food product sector’s total annual export of more than 100 billion Danish Kroner is also an important contributive factor.

The sector provides employment for approximately 150,000 people. This is the largest and most important business sector in Denmark.

Unfortunately, the earning levels in the agricultural sector are far too low – particularly during recent years.

The framework conditions provided to Danish farmers are, in many ways, a heavy load on the competitive ability of the entire sector.

The lack of environmental approvals

I stressed the lack of environmental approvals for the farming sector when I made my welcome speech at Agromek last year.

The Minister for the Environment at that time, Connie Hedegaard, spoke with enthusiasm of the completely new legislation when she opened Agromek in January 2007.

It is a far cry from this enthusiasm to the catastrophic situation which we have experienced since that date.

This legislation was simply not good enough.

The local authorities were not prepared – and many local authorities are still not prepared for action.

Many of the approved cases were sent to the Environmental Board of Appeal with delaying effect.

This situation is caused by a small association, which calls itself The Ecological Council, consistently attacking all application cases – and having success in its efforts due to the legislation not being clear enough.

This is a scandalous situation which has a violent effect on Danish farming and on the entire agricultural machinery sector due to the fact that developments were set on stand-by long before the economical global crisis arose.

Last year, we could discern that the objectives regarding local authority action concerning applications would not be attained. Despite promises that things were now under control these objectives will not even be attained this year.

In many cases, in which applications have at long last gained full approval, the farmer now has difficulty in financing projects due to the financial crisis that started a year ago.

Green growth

The entire situation regarding lack of approvals is an environmental scandal which cannot be allayed with the Green Growth package.

For the agricultural sector, there are both positive and negative aspects contained in the Green Growth package.

The continued restrictions regarding the Danish farmers’ possibilities for applying fertilizers and pesticides are important and escalating restrictions concerning field yields and quality of the crops.

Bread grain is on its way out. More protein has to be imported. The regulations impair competitive ability.

The new farm legislation removes a number of hindrances for expansion of individual farm properties. This provides new opportunities for continued structural development.

The new legislation, Green Development and Demonstration Programme – known in Denmark as the GUDP – contains, for example, grants for the development of new technology – especially if we can verify an organic angle in the product.

I can only urge all to apply for grants for the development of new products. After all, almost 600 million Danish Kroner has been earmarked for environmental technology plus 300 million for the establishment of biogas systems during the course of the next four years.

However, we should remember that some of the amounts are reallocations from earlier appropriations.

Focus attention on the positive
conditions leading to the future

We must not allow the economical crisis and difficult conditions to destroy our optimism.

The current situation makes it even more imperative that we focus our attention on the positive conditions leading to the future.

Basically, we must still produce many and even more food products.

In addition, there are now tentative reports regarding the first signs of light at the end of the tunnel.

In other countries, the crisis situation is showing improvement and the Danish prices for milk and meat are gradually improving.

It is in the light of this that we now effectuate the first international exhibition of technology and production aids for livestock farming in Northern Europe.

Apply the Agromek-livestock Exhibition

I can only urge all interested parties to apply Agromek-livestock 2009 as intensively as possible.

Cattle farmers, pig producers and all other livestock farmers should apply time during this week to study and discuss the many opportunities for future alterations and investment in their properties.

Application of the latest technology is a precondition for the continued growth of the individual farm and for the continued development of productivity and improvement of competitive ability.

There are huge amounts of know-how to be gained at this Exhibition. This applies both to the latest technology and to know-how regarding production aids to be used in the continuous production.

In addition, there is a great deal of know-how for the daily farm management which is readily available from the advisory, development and research institutes that have stands at Agromek-livestock.

Focus on livestock farming

Agromek-livestock is a new exhibition that is primarily concentrated on livestock farming plus the storage and treatment of crops.

There will be no fieldwork machines because this sector merely wishes to exhibit every other year.

The Exhibition contains a huge and impressive presentation of everything relating to technology, livestock housing installations and fittings plus equipment and production aids for livestock farming – including grain stores and feed stores.

The Exhibition concept has been well received by companies that supply technology, production aids and know-how to the farming sector.

We have a total of 475 exhibitors at Agromek-livestock.

Approximately 45 new exhibitors have booked stands within the past two to three months. This is impressive – very impressive.

Our criteria for success is that
the exhibition be applied intensively

Traditionally, exhibitions have been evaluated on the basis of the number of visitors.

However, we have long since become accustomed to the fact that Danish livestock shows and exhibitions of agricultural machinery have set attendance statistics which have fallen far below the records that were customary when there were between 100,000 and 200,000 farms in Denmark.

It is natural that the enormous changes in the farming sector resulting in continually larger and fewer farms has had a direct influence on visitor statistics.

Our exhibitions of agricultural machinery continue to have enormous influence on the technological development of farming and on the development of farming technology.

This is also the objective of Agromek-livestock during this week.

Due to the fact that this is an entirely new exhibition, we do not intend to specify our expectations regarding attendance statistics. This is also the reason for our not comparing attendance statistics with earlier Agromek statistics.

Our criteria for success for Agromek-livestock is that the exhibition is applied intensively by Danish and foreign farmers, advisors and dealers and all others who have an interest in visiting our impressive exhibition.

We have already been informed that there will be many visitors and guests from other countries. For example, cattle farmers and pig producers who wish to study genetics and livestock housing installations at a high level.

I hope and trust that all we exhibitors will have an extremely busy week which will increase our daily production – particularly when the authorities’ workload of building approvals finally has been completed and when the economical crisis is over.

I hereby wish you all a hearty welcome to Agromek-livestock.