2023 Conference


Belfast, NI

June 14th – 16th 2023

Venue: Grand Central Hotel
Conference: The Europa Hotel









ELPHA General Assembly 2023

ELPHA (European Live Poultry and Poultry Hatching Egg Association) was established in 2015 with the aim of representing the interests of European live poultry businesses to EU policymakers.

ELPHA represents a sector that rears 7 billion broilers to produce 14 million tonnes of broiler meat. 

The main interests of ELPHA members are EU trade, bird health and welfare, food safety and food security.


The 2023 ELPHA General Assembly will take place at the Europa Hotel in Belfast. Please find below an outline of your schedule. Full schedule can be accessed here.

More information can be found under “Visitor Info.”

We look forward to welcoming you to Belfast.

Wednesday 14th June

12.00-16:00 – Registration opens in Grand Central Hotel reception area. Welcome pack provided.          16:00-17:30 – ELPHA members’ and EPB board meeting (Grand Central Hotel)
18:15 – Drinks reception (Grand Central Hotel)
19:30 – Dinner

Thursday 15th June

9:00 – 16:00 – Conference details found in full schedule linked here.
18:00 – Departure to the Great Hall, Queens University for drinks reception, dinner and entertainment.
11.30pm & 12am Coaches back to Grand Central

Friday 16th June

8:30 – Tour of Belfast
13.30 – Lunch followed by departures


Wout Van Wolfswinkel

Wout Van Wolfswinkel

ELPHA President

Wout Van Wolfswinkel has been president of ELPHA since 2018 and represents European day-old chick and hatching egg producers. This includes breeding companies, hatcheries, and exporters.

Mr Van Wolfswinkel has been in industry for 30 years, having started as a planner and export manager at a broiler hatchery and then working several years for a breeding company as their account sales manager for breeding stock covering the whole of Europe.

Since 2021 he has been working at De Heus feed company as their sales manager and is responsible for livestock in the broiler-breeding chain in the Netherlands.


Birthe Steenberg

Birthe Steenberg

Secretary General - AVEC

Birthe Steenberg has been Secretary General of AVEC, The Voice of Europe’s Poultry Meat Sector since the beginning of 2017. The 19 members of AVEC are national organizations for the production of poultry meat in 17 different European countries. Previously, she worked as chief consultant in Agriculture & Food and from 2012 to 2017 she was the Manager of the Danish Poultry Meat Federation.

Birthe has a degree in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Copenhagen and she is a member of The Executive Committee of the International Poultry Council – as well as of the following committees under the auspices of the EU Commission Animal Welfare Platform, European food security crisis preparedness and response mechanism, Advisory Group – Food Chain and Animal and Plant Health and Civil Dialog Group on Animal Products – Poultrymeat and Eggs.

Jörg Hurlin

Jörg Hurlin

Managing Director - Agri Advanced Technologies GmbH

After receiving his MSc in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Goettingen Jörg Hurlin began his career with Big Dutchman International in 2008, in the product management of alternative layer systems. He then became the head of the technical development and sales support department for “poultry meat and animal feeding systems”.

Mr Hurlin has been “Group Coordinator Technical Solutions” for the EW Holding Group since 2015 and is Managing Director for the subsidiary Agri Advanced Technologies (AAT).  AAT is responsible development of specialized application technologies for poultry breeding. Under Mr Hurlin AAT has placed nine sex determination units in different European layer hatcheries and have over 40 grading units running in breeder farms around the world.

Niamh O'Connell

Niamh O'Connell

Professor of Animal Behaviour and Welfare - Queen's University, Belfast

Niamh is Professor of Animal Behaviour and Welfare at the School of Biological Sciences/Institute for Global Food Security, Queen’s University Belfast. Her research spans different farm animal species and much of it is funded by the agri-food industry. Environmental enrichment for poultry is a particular area of interest, and findings from this research programme have directly affected policy and practice in the UK and more widely. She and her team also work in the field of biosecurity and in the development of new technologies for welfare assessment (including machine vision tools and wearable sensor technology). Niamh completed a PhD in animal welfare at Queen’s University Belfast and has published over 70 scientific papers.

Dr Tracey Jones

Dr Tracey Jones

Director of Food Business, Compassion in World Farming

Tracey has been the Director of Compassion’s Food Business programme since 2013, overseeing its evolution and expansion, working with the world’s leading food companies across Europe, the US and Asia-Pacific. To date over 2.5 billion animals are set to lead better lives each year through the commitments of our corporate partners.

Tracey has an applied farm animal welfare research background, is passionate about making a real, lasting difference, for the welfare of animals reared for food and believes in the power of big business to effect change at scale and speed when committed to do so.

Nadia Khaldoune

Nadia Khaldoune

Senior Policy Advisor - AVEC

A trained dietician with a master’s degree in Sciences, Technologies and Health and a major in Nutrition and Health, Nadia Khaldoune joined ELPHA in 2021 after 13 years in the food industry as a professional in scientific and regulatory affairs.

As a policy advisor in ELPHA, Nadia specifically handles issues related to animal health and welfare as well as food safety and quality.

Dr Bernard Van Goethem

Dr Bernard Van Goethem

Director of Directorate G (crisis preparedness in food, animals and plants) in DG SANTE

Dr Bernard Van Goethem is the Director of Directorate G – Crisis preparedness in food, animals and plants, in the European Commission’s DG Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE). Dr Van Goethem joined the European Commission in 1987, first working in DG Agriculture before moving to DG SANCO in 1999. DG SANCO became DG SANTE in 2015. He is in charge of animal and plant health, hygiene of food and feed, official controls and imports, animal welfare and alert systems for the European Union.

Dr Van Goethem studied veterinary medicine at the University of Liège, graduating in 1984 before going on to take a Diploma of Tropical Veterinary Medicine and Animal Husbandry at the Prince Leopold Institute, Antwerp and obtaining a degree in agricultural engineering at the Catholic University of Louvain-La-Neuve in 1988.

Paul-Henri Lava

Paul-Henri Lava

Deputy Secretary General - AVEC

After receiving an engineering diploma of agriculture in Purpan and a Master’s degree in Political Affairs in Sciences Po Toulouse, Paul-Henri joined AVEC in 2012. Paul-Henri holds strong interest and expertise in trade and agriculture policies. As Deputy Secretary General of AVEC, he specialises in issues relating to trade and environmental sustainability.

Robert Huey

Robert Huey

Chief Veterinary Officer - Northern Ireland

Robert Huey took up the position of Chief Veterinary Officer for Northern Ireland in 2013. He joined Veterinary Service in 1989, and has held various policy and delivery roles, including teaching Animal Health at the Department’s College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE). Between 2002 and 2009 Huey delivered DAERA’s meat hygiene services for the Food Standards Agency in Northern Ireland. He also served as President of the North of Ireland Veterinary Association, Veterinary Public Health Association, Union of European Veterinary Hygienists, and held Vice Presidency of the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe for 4 years.

In 2017 Huey was awarded a Fellowship by the RCVS and in 2018 an Associate Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Society. He is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Butchers and a Freeman of the City of London. He holds the RCVS Diploma in Veterinary Public Health (Meat Hygiene) and is co-author of the textbook ‘Meat Hygiene.’


WITH THANKS to our sponsors

Annyalla Chicks
MSD Animal Heath
Viscon Hatchery Automation





Visitor Info

Useful Links

If you are considering attending the conference the VisitBelfast.com website has plenty of useful information. Below are some links we feel will be useful to delegates.

Please note that any uncertainty around travel will be avoided by entering Northern Ireland with a passport.

City Guides

These useful City Guides provide delegates with things to do, ideas and inspiration for Belfast and beyond and includes a map of the city. With items you can download or view whilst in the city. Visit:
www.visitbelfast.com/plan/pages/brochures-and-downloads »


We offer many exclusive offers for delegates. Use the link below to see them all, with new offers being added regularly.

IMPORTANT: To take advantage of these offers, delegates just need to present their conference delegate badge at any of the participating outlets.

Europa Hotel

Great Victoria Street,
Belfast BT2 7AP.
Tel: +44 (0) 28 9027 1066
W: europahotelbelfast.com
E: res@eur.hastingshotels.com

Grand Central Hotel

9-15 Bedford Street,
Belfast BT2 7FF.
Tel: +44 (0) 28 9023 1066
W: grandcentralhotelbelfast.com
E: res@gch.hastingshotels.com

More Information