Preparing for change
With focus on change in the feed and livestock industry and within an organisation as the main themes, this year’s Global Executive Leadership Summit by Kemin was held in Singapore, from August 2 to 4.
“Like the previous editions of our Summit, this year we identified current issues in the feed industry and addressed them at two levels: one, that is important for technical people, and two, at the executive level with people who are more involved with business,” highlighted Dr. Chris Nelson, president and CEO of Kemin Industries.
By and large, the unregulated and overuse of antibiotics is seen by the feed and livestock industry as an important current issue. And Kemin sees this as an opportunity, at this year’s Summit, to collaborate with global opinion leaders to educate its customers to prepare for the change towards a post-antibiotic era.
Accordingly, on the second day of the Summit proper, for the morning session, relevant topics presented included: “Restricting antibiotic use in livestock to prevent proliferation of antibiotic resistance strains” by Prof. Wondwossen A. Gebreyes of The Ohio State University, US; “Maintaining gut health and productivity in the post-antibiotic era” by Dr. Santiago Ramirez, animal nutrition consultant, FCR Consulting Group, Australia; “Strategies for a post-antibiotic era: an industry perspective” by Prof. Kim Yoo Yong of Seoul National University, Korea, and, chairman of the Korean Council of Pork Industry and Policy, and the Council of Pork Supply and Demand Governing Body.
In a private interview with eFeedLink, Dr. Nelson of Kemin nicely summed up the urgency for the need for change, “End consumers now have a tremendous concern for antibiotics in their food. Our industry exists to serve the consumers, and if we stop paying attention to their concerns, what will inevitably happen is that we start producing products which the consumer doesn’t want. The attitude of the consumers has changed dramatically within the past five years, so the faster our industry can respond to their needs, the more we will be able to satisfy them with high quality meat, milk and eggs.”
From a micro economic perspective, the subject of preparing for change is also highly relevant to family businesses within the feed and livestock industry, like Kemin. “There are enormous advantages in running family businesses, considering that the vast majority of businesses on the planet are family-run compared to those which are publicly traded. Some of these advantages include the possibilities of having a very long-term vision for the company, and reacting faster to the market. The downside for running a family business is that members of a family can have differences in opinion and vision. Perhaps one of the key challenges in a family business is communicating a vision of what the business means to the family,” explained Dr. Nelson.
It was apt that for the afternoon session on the same day, Prof. Annie Koh, academic director of the Business Families Institute of Singapore Management University, spoke on “Building a lasting legacy”. Another Singaporean perspective was from Cheong Wing Kiat, executive director of Wen Ken Group, who presented on “Handling over the baton: 3rd generation leadership”.
There was also an open forum on family business succession planning facilitated by a panel comprising of, RW Nelson, Chairman of Kemin Industries, Inc., Prof. Annie Koh, Cheong Wing Kiat and Choo Eng Chuan, Senior Partner of Ernst & Young Singapore.
Delegate team representing India at the event
The event concluded on the third day with a guided tour of Kemin’s R&D, Customer Laboratory Service, and Operations facilities at the company’s Singapore plant, demonstrating Kemin’s commitment to stakeholders and customers.
– source eFeedLink