Contact Details :
Craig Culley, Secretary
World Ostrich Association
33 Eden Grange
Carlisle, UK CA4 8QW
Tel +44 1228 562 923
Fax +44 1228 562 187
Newsletter No 13 - April, 2004
1. Conference in China
2. Chairman's Opening Address
4. Research Farm
5. Chairman's Closing Statement
1. Conference in China
Chinese Ostrich Farm Development Association (COFDA) and Mr. Yang Hao Min, General Manager of Shaanxi Land Reclamation State Farms and Iko Ostriches Co. Ltd, organised "The International Conference on Development of Ostrich Estate 2004". This conference took place in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, China this last week. Three of your directors and a few members were in attendance. Stan Stewart opened the conference amidst significant ceremony Chinese Style. Mr. Yang Hao-Min ensured maximum Press and TV coverage. His objective was to raise consumer awareness of the Ostrich industry. The opening ceremony was held in a packed auditorium that had a capacity of 1000
This newsletter will be dedicated to the conference as this was a major event. Over the years I have visited many conferences and believe this to be a conference that will go down in the history of our industry as the turning point to commercial production.
Overseas delegates came from in excess of 15 countries, but unfortunately a few were unable to attend as they were refused visas by the Chinese Government. There was considerable experience amongst the delegates that included our member from Israel Mike van Grevenbroek, his vet Dr. Benny Pereleman, both with over 20 years experience; two members of the KKK, the oldest company in ostrich production and many of us with 10 or more years experience.
During the conference all delegates were taken to one of the IKO farms, where 5,000 ostriches are currently reared. IKO has in excess of 20,000 Ostriches that all originate from an original importation of 120 breeders from Namibia. Stan and Fiona were most honoured to be invited to join a number of Chinese dignitaries to 'cut the ribbon' to open the new Slaughter facility built in Xi'an. The slaughter facility is most impressive with a capacity of 60,000 slaughter birds/annum
and built to EU specifications.
The Opening Address of our WOA Chairman, Stan Stewart, is included in this Newsletter. Photographs and information will be collated and placed onto the web site for viewing over the next few weeks. As this is completed, Daryl Holle will send the web page details to the WOA Members Mailing List.
In addition to Stan's contributions, your Vice Chairman, Dr. Hesham Khalifa gave a presentation on the Ostrich Industry in Egypt, Alan Stables gave a presentation on Performance Indicators and I presented the paper on "Cutting the Costs of Production".
Please also welcome new members who joined during the conference.
2. WOA Chairman's Opening Address:
"Mr. Minister, Mr. Wang Peiheng, Mr. Yang Hao Min, fellow delegates, ladies and gentlemen.
This is a great pleasure for me to be here with you in your beautiful ancient city of Xi’an. This is my first visit to China and if the wonderful hospitality shown to me and all the other delegates from around the world so far is anything to go by I very much hope it will not be my last visit. Even though I do not understand a single word of Chinese – actually that is not quite true, I do know one word – “Tonaugh” – I have been made to feel very welcome and at home amongst you, so am looking forward even more to enjoying the next few days of this conference with you all.
I am also proud that the World Ostrich Association has been invited to co-host this important conference for the Development of Ostrich Estate here in Xi’an. I believe this conference could well go down in history as the beginning of the ostrich industry coming of age and of starting ot mature into a proper livestock industry that will eventually rate in importance alongside those of cattle, sheep, pigs and other poultry. I see a large part of that development being driven by the opportunities being presented here in China. With the vision and leadership of people such as Mr. Wang Peiheng and Mr. Yang Hao Min backed by your government here in China. This great country along with other countries in the East and elsewhere around the world can, through cooperation and collaboration change this fledgling industry into one of World Class. All that is required is for some sense of common purpose to be developed and hopefully that will be assisted by the efforts of the World Ostrich Association.
At the moment I liken the industry to the game of Rugby. I don’t know if you are all familiar with this game, but England recently became the world champions by winning the rugby world cup. For those of you who may not know this game played with an oval ball, similar in shape to an ostrich egg, that when kicked can bounce in unpredictable directions. The aim is to get the ball touched down anywhere across a line at the end of the pitch in order to score. However, if we substitute a round ball for the oval one, it can be kicked with much greater accuracy and if we put up goal posts with a cross bar and confine them with a net into which the ball must go in order to score, the game develops a much more
Our Ostrich industry needs to have those goals set. We require standards to be put in place that will channel the energies of all to strive to work in the same direction. We need internationally agreed standards for genetic selection, for bird quality, meat yields and quality, for meat cuts, skin grading, fat and oil quality etc. All of this work needs to be done if the framework is to be put in place to enable ostriches and ostrich products to be traded fairly and profitably between countries. This conference will hopefully offer a way forward to achieve this and that the WOA can provide the leadership to enable it to become a reality.
Ladies and Gentleman, I welcome you all here to Xi’an on behalf of the World Ostrich Association. I look forward to the time when everyone around the world who is associated in any way with the industry will become members of the WOA and we will all be working together to advance every aspect of the Ostrich Industry so that the full potential many of us believe this marvellous bird possesses may at last be realised.
Thank you all again for coming, enjoy the conference and the opportunity to meet new people and hopefully be stimulated to go back and strive to make the industry even better.
The final session of the conference was a time for short presentations and open discussion. The overwhelming message that came through from all present was the need for cooperation amongst us all.
The World Ostrich Association is the mechanism that now provides the infrastructure to develop this cooperation.
4. Research Farm
Stan Stewart, in his closing address, made the following statement:
"I am pleased to announce that the WOA is in negotiation to establish the first WOA sponsored research and development centre here in Shaanxi Province that will be used to conduct research and information to enhance the development of the ostrich industry around the world".
The need for such a research farm was a clear message sent by the delegates. Mr. Yang is very keen to collaborate in such a venture. Your board will now develop the parameters under which such a centre can be developed for the benefit of the Industry without compromising proprietary information for any of the contributors. This is an exciting development for our industry and the need for such a centre was emphasised as required during the final session of the conference.
Over the years our industry has been subjected to many scientific papers that can be challenged in their accuracy and standard of the studies, especially when measured alongside mainstream livestock industries. Many of the papers published in the proceedings had erroneous conclusions and/or poorly designed studies. The WOA is committed to correcting misinformation and setting the industry on the correct path.
5. WOA Chairman's Closing Statement:
"Mr. Chairman, Mr. Yang Hao Min, Honoured Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.
In my opening remarks I said that I believed this conference could well go down in history as the most important conference ever held in the history of the world wide development of the world wide ostrich industry. Having listened and taken part in all the proceedings, I am now more convinced that belief will be fully vindicated.
We have had many excellent presentations, some of which unfortunately had to be curtailed due to time pressures, but I am sure you will all agree that most of them have been of quality and of great interest. Our thanks are due in great measures to all presenters for giving their time to come and inform us.
The organisation that has gone into making this conference such a success must have been immense. That everything has gone so smoothly is a testament to the excellent work done by the organisers Shaanxi Land Reformation State Farms and the Iko Ostrich Co. Ltd. Our thanks go to Mr. Wang Peiling and Mr. Yang Hao Min for the leadership they have given in order to bring all of us together in such an impressive venue here in Xi’an.
Not only have we enjoyed our time here in the conference room, but have also enjoyed visiting the beautiful farm and the opening ceremony for your superb new slaughter house and processing plant. Both Mrs. Benson and I were most honoured to be included in the tape cutting ceremony.
Our thanks are also well deserved for the way we have been looked after and fed by the staff here in the hotel. That we have also been entertained so well and have more to look forward to this evening when we have the songs to see and the dances from the Tang Dynasty.
During the presentations I think 3 main themes have emerged.
1. No. 1 is the need for greater research, especially into nutritional based problems. We heard from Prof. Khalifa that up to 80% of all problems associated with chick hatching and rearing are nutritionally based. So this must be one of the main areas for urgent research.
2. The Second is the fact that China appears to be poised for a rapid expansion of its industry and most especially here in Shaanxi Province. The emphasis we heard was of the intention to produce high quality birds and products and of the need for agreed quality standards if the marketing opportunities are to be fully realised.
3. Finally, there is a need for all countries around the world to increase co-operation and improve communication between us all if the full potential of the global industry is to be fully realised.
I would just like to point out again the goals and objectives of the WOA:
These are to represent the International Ostrich Industry through Communication, Dissemination of Information and provision of industry standards.
The WOA is established for the promotion of ALL and I repeat ALL aspects of the ostrich industry from farming through to the sale of meat to finished leather and craft goods.
It is very obvious that the leaders of the industry here in China also embrace these objectives and I am pleased that Mr. Yang has decided to join the WOA to help promote these aims and objectives.
I am pleased to announce that the WOA is in negotiaton to establish the first WOA sponsored research and development centre here in Shaanxi Province that will be used to conduct research and meaningful information to enhance the development of the ostrich industry around the world.
Thank you all for attending this conference and making it such a success. We look forward to meeting you all again soon to update ourselves with the progress of the industry around the world."