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International Poultry Council marks its 10th anniversary

The International Poultry Council, the first global association dedicated to improving dialogue and cooperation among the poultry meat industries around the world, has quietly celebrated its 10th anniversary.

"While the IPC is proud of what it has accomplished over its first 10 years, I think most of our members are celebrating the anniversary by continuing to work to improve the industries in their respective countries," said IPC Secretary General Marilia Rangel of São Paulo, who recently assumed the role as the organization's first full-time chief executive. "The IPC is kind of a no-frills organization."

Founded in Cologne, 2005

On Oct. 7, 2005, poultry industry association representatives from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Egypt, the European Union, Mexico, Thailand, Turkey, and the United States gathered in Cologne, Germany, to found the IPC. They adopted a charter and approved a set of by-laws to lay the framework for an organization in which industry leaders could work cooperatively on global issues of common interest.

Jim Sumner, president of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, who was recovering from an accident and did not make the inaugural meeting, was nonetheless elected president of the IPC in absentia, a position he has held continuously since.

"For years, Tage Lysgaard of Denmark, former president of a.v.e.c. (the EU poultry association) and other colleagues and I had been discussing the need for an organization like the IPC that could be a forum to discuss issues that we all cared about, such as poultry diseases, international guidelines on trade, and the like," Sumner said. "I am truly fortunate to have been asked to serve in this role."

Milestone for IPC

Sumner said the hiring of Rangel earlier this year marked a milestone for the IPC. "Since it was founded, the IPC had been operated by a part-time secretary general and by dedicated volunteers from its member organizations," he said. "But in 2014, a core group of members gathered in Edinburgh for an intensive strategic planning retreat to improve the IPC's organizational framework and to define its mission. One of the main things that came from that exercise was that for the IPC to continue growing, we had to hire a full-time CEO. And we were lucky enough to find Marilia."

Since its founding, the IPC has gained official recognition by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, the World Organization for Animal Health, and the Codex Alimentarius Commission as the unified voice of the global poultry meat industry.

National and regional associations representing 22 countries currently hold membership in the IPC, and the organization has 46 associate members comprised of poultry producers, primary breeding companies, pharmaceutical companies, equipment makers, and others that benefit from a strong international poultry industry.

For global poultry producers

Members of the IPC represent 80% of global production of poultry meat and about 95% of the world's poultry trade.

"We are working every day on issues that are important to every poultry-producing country in the world," Rangel said. "And the IPC is growing, and is actively soliciting new members, because the more members we have, the more impact we can have on those issues."

The IPC's next meeting will be Feb. 17-19 in Abu Dhabi.

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