On the 10th and 11th of September, we successfully ran our Ideas Exchange conference in Sydney. This meeting enables researchers and industry to get together for a great time of networking, re-connecting, learning and developing ideas. The conference was well attended with close to 90 participants from across the industry and research sectors. The main session of the conference included industry insights, a panel discussion focusing on the Poultry Industry’s capacity to go carbon neutral, research snapshots and concluding with a Brains Trust session.

Panel discussion at Ideas Exchange 2019, “Can the Australian poultry industry ever be carbon neutral?”.

The industry insights session included presentations highlighting the industry’s achievements in genetics over the past 40 years and how sustainable the industry is. Following this, there were two presentations detailing the challenges of vaccine production, delivery, supply, and efficacy, highlighting the many challenges we face in this area while providing some suggestions on how we could enhance Australian vaccine production.

The panel discussion had representatives from a number of industry sectors and fantastic engagement from the audience. Not only did the audience think we could attain carbon neutrality, but that we could go carbon negative! The main point that arose from this hearty discussion was that we are already doing a range of positive activities in this space, but we are failing to get the information out there. With the challenge of fake meat on our doorstep, we really need to get these positive achievements out there, so that we can highlight how sustainable our industry is!

Participants at the conference

The research snapshots session highlighted the diverse range of research projects that we invest in. With a new format, researchers were asked to focus on the impact their project will have in industry and to highlight key take home messages in less than 7 minutes. The new format was well received and triggered a plethora of discussions over morning tea.

The conference concluded with a Brains Trust session that enabled the audience to ask questions and get live anonymous answers/feedback from everyone in the room. This session was run last year and so provided an opportunity to repeat some of the questions asked last year to see in perceptions have changed. One of these questions was “In one word describe the biggest problem the Australian poultry industry currently faces”, last year’s highest response was “perception” and this years was “feed”, highlighting the challenges many of us face with drought and feed availability.

PHA would like to thank all who were involved in making this year’s conference a success. We look forward to next year’s conference which will be held in Melbourne, details to be announced early in 2020. We have noted the feedback received and are hoping to engage more farmers and focus on key production issues facing the industry. If you have any questions about our conference, how to join PHA or interesting topics to cover contact us at poultryhub@une.edu.au.

Participants at the conference