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A conference and dinner on 16th November saw customers from around the world celebrate Primary Diets’ 21st birthday.

The conference began with a specific session for international guests where presentations were made on the PEDV epidemic in Canada, how we add value to our customers’ businesses in Poland and introducing the wider Asian market and understanding the importance of consumer differences. The presenters included:

  • Kevin Dolan and Bruce Schumann, Grand Valley Fortifiers (Canadian distributor)
  • Wojciech Pichowicz, Primary Diets, Poland
  • Michelle Sprent, Premier Nutrition

Primary Diets is currently exporting product or knowledge to +20 countries internationally and with the world becoming an ever-smaller place, these international links can only grow and strengthen in the future.

Wojciech Pichowicz

The second morning session focused on the importance of research and development, why we do it and what it is delivering, presented by nutritionist Emma Suckling from Primary Diets. Professor Helen Miller from the University of Leeds then discussed the historic relationship between Primary and the University, what has been achieved and their ongoing expansion into an outdoor breeding herd and new grower and finisher accommodation.

The afternoon presentations featured a number of forward-thinking sessions starting with a whistle-stop tour of the similarities and differences in international pig nutrition and how a nutritionist tackles this challenge by Dr Phil Boyd, nutritionist at Primary Diets.

Primary Diets is 21!

Dr Kayleigh Almond, also a nutritionist at Primary Diets, delivered an insightful talk on feeding in a zinc and antibiotic free future, considering both management and nutrition solutions to support performance in the face of the upcoming zinc oxide ban. Kayleigh demonstrated how nutrient requirements of health challenged piglets differ to healthy piglets and how we can use nutrition to reduce pathogen load in the gut. The research, which Primary Diets has been doing in this area, has resulted in the launch of the XP range of diets which are providing good progressive results towards maintaining piglet performance in the absence of zinc oxide.

Kayleigh Almond

Kayleigh’s talk was complimented by a session from Fran Baird, from the George Vet Group, where he focused on reducing antibiotic use in pork production to help achieve the industry target of <99mg/kg PCU by 2020. His example of how standard medication practices can contribute to this target – Amoxycillin use in the first 6kg of nursery feed to control meningitis contributes 15.6mg/kg, whilst using 1.6kg CTC 25% on entry to finishing for 2 weeks contributes 97.4mg/kg – reinforced the prescribing principle of using “as much as necessary and as little as possible”.

Finally, Colin Marry from PermaPigs in Ireland gave an interesting and entertaining talk about some of the management techniques he is trialling on his unit, including indoor group suckling. His aim to remove or stagger the multiple stressors around weaning to maximise performance in the nursery illustrated the very real tribulations of innovation and thinking outside of the box (or farrowing crate!).

The celebrations were concluded with an evening dinner featuring guest speaker, Paul Toplis. As one of the founders of Primary Diets, it was fitting that he finished the evening with a toast to at least 21 more years of success.

Paul Toplis

Huge thanks go to all the speakers who contributed to making this event a success. If you are interested in finding out more about any of the presentation sessions, please contact your Primary Diets representative.