With transparency top-of-mind for consumers, the poultry industry must find solutions that meet the needs of people, the planet and our business. Join us as we explore opportunities to innovate, improve consumer awareness and build a more sustainable future.
What does sustainability look like for poultry farmers? From animal welfare to consumer trends, get an inside look at how one farm is planning for the future of their business
General Manager, HFHC/NestBorn
Erik Hoeven is the general manager of the NestBorn company (HFHC). He is responsible for all research and development activities related to the "NestBorn" on-farm hatching concept, as well as sales of the system. He is also in charge of the company's international contacts. Hoeven also serves as the innovation manager for the Belgabroed/Vervaeke-Belavi/Van Hulst hatchery group, which is active in Belgium, Holland and Germany.
Prior to joining the hatchery sector four years ago, Hoeven worked in the animal nutrition industry in Belgium for 10 years and, before that, spent four years conducting applied livestock research in West Africa. He received a degree in agricultural engineering with a focus on livestock production from the University of Leuven in Belgium in 1999.
Clinical Director, Slate Hall Veterinary Services
Dr. Allan Ball is a clinical director at Slate Hall Veterinary Services. His responsibilities include providing veterinary care to large broiler-breeder and broiler companies in the U.K. Slate Hall also has large clients in the U.K. commercial layer sector.
Dr. Ball has previously served as a company veterinarian and production manager for Rainbow Farms in South Africa and as a quality assurance manager and veterinarian for Cobb Europe, where he provided his services to producers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Dr. Ball received a post-graduate certificate in avian health from the University of Melbourne in 2012. His current areas of interest for research include avian intestinal health.
Poultry Production Manager, Coopavel
Eduardo Leffer is a veterinarian with extensive experience in the poultry industry. He has been leading the AGP-free broiler production at Coopavel for the past four years.
Leffer is experienced in the management of broiler production and sanitation and has also served in technical, marketing and sales roles for several global laboratories. For 18 years, he has applied his expertise at numerous national and multinational companies in the areas of vaccines, additives and nutrition for poultry and pigs.
Among his achievements, Leffer is most proud of building relationships on key accounts that have resulted in strong sales growth and working to restructure chicken production models, resulting in increased efficiency in the cost of production.
Senior Advisor for Corporate Social Responsibility, Burnbrae Farms Ltd
Dr. Helen Anne Hudson is the senior advisor for corporate social responsibility at Burnbrae Farms, one of Canada’s largest egg businesses. She is also the chair of the Canadian Poultry Research Council.
Dr. Hudson is a proud fourth-generation farmer who grew up on Burnbrae Farms, her family's farm. She serves on a variety of committees and boards, representing both Burnbrae Farms and the wider poultry industry. She is a passionate supporter of research and innovation.
Dr. Hudson received a bachelor's degree in science from the University of Guelph in Ontario and both a master's degree in science and a doctoral degree in poultry science from the University of Georgia in the U.S.
Product Director, Nando's United Kingdom and Ireland
Judith Irons is the product director for Nando's in the U.K. and Ireland. In this role, she is responsible for the end-to-end supply chain, including food strategy, menu development, product quality and safety, and direct and indirect procurement, as well as logistics and all Scope 3 emissions.
Irons has previously served as the senior buyer for Tesco Foods and Marks & Spencer, director of commercial development and, later, director of e-commerce at Booker, and agriculture director at 2 Sisters Food Group.
Irons received a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Leeds University and is currently studying efforts to reach net-zero emissions at the University of Cambridge's Institute for Sustainability Leadership.
Agriculture Director, Producers, Noble Foods Ltd
Graham Atkinson is the agriculture director for producers at Noble Foods. In this role, he leads the regional management team as they work with their producer base. Atkinson joined Noble Foods in 2010 as regional manager for northern England.
Originally from North Yorkshire, Atkinson joined the Royal Navy in 1987. After qualifying as an air engineering mechanic, he served predominately on the HMS Ark Royal, where his work focused on anti-submarine warfare helicopters. He served during the Gulf Conflict in 1990.
Atkinson returned to Yorkshire upon marrying his wife, Angela, and began working on their family farm. The farm originally focused on producing poultry, including ducks, as well as beef and sheep. In the 1990s, the farm transitioned from ducks to layers, eventually growing to 14,000 birds and later adding broilers to the mix as well.
Atkinson has previously served as a poultry feed sales representative for BOCM Pauls in northern England. He also worked as a consultant for local feed and egg packers. In his spare time, Atkinson enjoys cricket, walking, gardening, reading, traveling and DIY projects.
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