EPIC 2014 Sustainability – a question of balance

What’s the big theme?

Sustainability – or rather “Sustainable Intensification – A Question of Balance” to give this year’s conference it’s proper title. And by this, we mean how can the egg and poultry sectors contribute to feeding a growing population while minimising its impact on limited global resources? And how can this be achieved within the confines of tightening regulation and mounting costs? Each speaker will be asked to give a perspective from their own area of expertise.

Who are the speakers?

As ever, EPIC has attracted a strong line-up, kicking off with recently appointed Defra secretary Elizabeth Truss and conference president Andrew Jorêt.

The post-coffee session features Nick Major of ForFarmers, who gave this year’s Temperton Fellowship lecture on sustainability, and George Tice, senior director of Elanco Animal Health. They will be joined by economics commentator Frances Cairncross, who has held senior posts at The Economist, The Times and The Guardian, as well as chairing the Economic and Social Research Council.

The afternoon will start with an insight from Chris Fells, director of product excellence with KFC, followed by Alan Thomson, technical and commercial manager for Aviagen. And the conference will wind up with a presentation from Leigh Ann Johnston, director of sustainability for Tyson Foods in the USA, followed by the ever controversial and thought provoking economics analyst, Sean Rickard.

Paul Kelly of Kelly Turkeys will chair the conference with his usual panache.

Where and when?

EPIC has a new home this year – the hugely impressive Celtic Manor Resort Hotel near Newport in south Wales. It’s pretty hard to miss, standing proud on a hill beside the M4 and just five minutes from the Severn Bridge. But for those who need it, the postcode for satnavs is NP18 2YB.

The venue boasts not one, but three golf courses, and was the venue for the 2010 Ryder Cup. More recently, in September, it played host to the meeting of Nato leaders. The hope is that the fighter jets, tanks and missiles have been removed from the fourth fairway.

Rooms can be booked by calling the hotel on 01633 410262, and ask for the EPIC room rate. Alternatively, visit the hotel website www.celtic-manor.com Conference delegates will benefit from valet parking and luggage drop-off.

And when? It all kicks off with the pre-conference drinks party at 6.30pm on the evening of Sunday 2 November, followed by the White Meat Supper. The egg sector will also be holding its industry dinner at the same time.

The conference proper gets under way at 9am on Monday 3 November. The black tie banquet is held that evening, starting at 8.15pm.

How much does it all cost?

Apart from travel and accommodation, specific costs are as follows:

Conference registration £177 + VAT

White Meat Supper £28 + VAT

EPIC Banquet is £53.50 + VAT

How do I book my place?

Simply visit the EPIC website at www.epiconference.co.uk and click on Booking Form.

What else will I get from it?

As ever, EPIC is a great place for debate, both in the conference hall and during the many networking opportunities. There is also a trade fair, where you can mingle with suppliers and poultry organisations. And there is entertainment, in the form of adventurer Alan Chambers on Sunday night and comedienne Nina Conti after the banquet on Monday. And of course, you’ll have a great opportunity to enjoy the world class facilities on offer at The Celtic Manor. So don’t delay, visit www.epiconference.co.uk to secure your slot.

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