April 01, 2014

01/04/14: Straight to business during the IEC Business Lecture and Customer Focus session

The opening conference session at the IEC Business Conference Vienna 2014 brought delegates straight down to business.  On Monday morning, delegates heard from the former EU Commissioner of Agriculture, Dr Franz Fischler, as he discussed the latest EU polices concerning agriculture, and the egg and poultry industries in particular.  Dr Fischler discussed with IEC delegates the impact EU policy has on supply prices, and the stability of feed grains during the coming decade.

Dr Fischler
During his presentation he told the IEC: “The good news is we have 40 years of decreasing agriculture commodity prices behind us – now prices are rising”.  Dr Fischler went on to explain that he expects to see steady growth in agricultural commodity prices in the EU over the coming decade.  He also predicts strong demand for cereals to continue in the EU during the coming years, with much higher increases in yields of maize, sunflower and rapeseed oil.

Although pig meat remains the largest meat in Europe, in regard to market share, Dr Franz Fischler told the IEC to expect enormous growth in the EU’s poultry sector during the next 10 years.

During his Business Lecture to the IEC, Dr Fischler discussed the details of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), explaining that the goal of the EU is to create balance between the economy, ecology and social affairs: to achieve greater competitiveness, improved sustainability, implement new green initiatives, and ensure greater effectiveness for EU agriculture.

On Monday morning, delegates also heard from Johann Morwald, during the conference’s Customer Focus session.  Mr Morwald is a former ALDI Board Member, and he provided delegates with invaluable insight into the way discount retailers work, and how to maximise a business’s opportunity of becoming a supplier.  He told delegates that within Central Europe, 80% of eggs are sold through grocery retail stores, and that the two leading discount stores account for 60% of this market share, resulting in each company selling 30% of the eggs sold in Central Europe.

Johann Morwald offered advice to delegates about how the stores allocate space to their products and he told the IEC that due to the scarcity of floor space the Purchasing Director’s main role was to: “identify the absolute best seller of the respective product groups”, stressing that it is in the retailer’s best interest to achieve the highest possible sales for the lowest floor space.  Johann Morwald told the
Johann Morwald
IEC delegates:  “It is therefore an important commandment of all negotiations to be well prepared, with sophisticated layouts and design concepts, to convince the Purchasing Director of additional value to sales and profit by eggs.”

Following his presentation, Professor David Hughes, Emeritus Professor of Food Marketing, led an insightful question and answer session with Johann Morwald.  Professor Hughes also addressed the conference ahead of Mr Morwald, setting the scene for delegates and explaining the huge growth in market share of what he referred to as the “hard discount stores”, such as ALDI.

During Monday afternoon’s conference sessions, delegates heard from Dr Ferry Leenstra, Professor Rudolf Preisinger and Dr Knut Niebuhr.

We will bring you daily updates from the IEC Business Conference Vienna 2014, to ensure you are kept fully up to date.

The Global Miller
This blog is maintained by The Global Miller staff and is supported by the magazine GFMT which is published by Perendale Publishers Limited.

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