Charlotte Ryan/Gaff Labs: Finding the most interesting person I met would be a challenge but the one I spoke with the most was Virag Simon. We had a very good discussion about colour inheritance in Labradors brought about by a remark made by a presenter about breeding Chocolates. (as we all know they are dear to my heart)
MaryLou Hyatt Rutherford/Fargoridge: I met some very interesting breeders and it is fascinating how people who have breeding programs in other countries are viewed very differently than breeders in Canada. It is also interesting how other breeders view their own breeding programs in comparison with us.
Yvonne Poire/Full of Bull: There were a lot of countries represented, mingling wasn't easy as we had short breaks between topics, I did meet other bulldog breeders from Hungary, US.
Pierry McLean/RC Canada: Over 160 dog breeders and Royal Canin associates from all over the world attended this convention. The most memorable breeders were from Mexico, Hungary, Poland, USA, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan. Not everyone could speak English or French, but we all managed to communicate in some form or another. Poland had the largest team of 12. They had several Labrador Breeders in attendance so we exchanged information about stud dogs and pedigrees.
You guys had the opportunity to visit Royal Canin’s birthplace: what was the most interesting part of this visit? Why?
Charlotte Ryan/Gaff Labs: Visiting the Royal Canin Birthplace was wonderful. I found the kennel and the cattery fascinating. So many different aspects of the care for these animals were addressed. The needs of each provided for, not just food and water but recreaton suitable for each type of cat or dog. ( I would love to have the same fencing, it wouldn't come down in the snow we have here). The factory tour reinforced the fact that standards are consistent throughout the production no matter where in the world the facility is.
MaryLou Hyatt Rutherford/Fargoridge:I enjoyed the tour and I loved seeing the kennel and cattery facility and property. I saw a couple things I will try adding to my own boarding kennel (such as an enclosed outside area for cats). I also enjoyed seeing the same passion that I see here when dealing with Royal Canin. All the staff and people who feed Royal Canin are equally as passionate about the food, the process and the animals.
Yvonne Poire/Full of Bull:I found the "Campus" to be an amazing place, everything necessary to conduct business. From scientific study to production and distribution. The grounds were beautiful, with olive trees and a vineyard. Like Canada the campus has a "multi-cultural" theme. The Kennels & Catery were a pets dream come true, I think I would like to be a Royal Canin dog in my next life. I think the extruding process was very impressing, they had three, and those machines produced all the kibbles, different die plates were put in place for the different size kibbles. I had a much different vision of how this was done.... loved it.
Pierry McLean/RC Canada:The Royal Canin Campus was absolutely amazing. As you travel down the highway, it’s difficult to miss. The plant sits upon acres of land and the Royal Canin silos appear as large symbols of growth and prosperity in the area. Although the plant and laboratories were fascinating to see, I couldn’t wait to see the kennels and catteries. The catteries were open concept with large windows for light. The cats had many toys and trees to climb on. The dog rooms were very similar. You could tell the dogs knew their routine because they were quietly sleeping on their beds and chairs, all tuckered out from the day’s activities. All the staff are assigned a dog or cat. Claire, one of tour guides has an RC dog and cat. She takes the dog for a walk during her lunch hour and visits her cat (a Maine Coon) throughout the day. The area is fenced in beautifully with gardens and olive trees, agility equipment for entertainment and a pool for swimming.
What will be your take-away messages from this convention?
Charlotte Ryan/Gaff Labs: I would say that I came away from the Conference with my belief reinforced that Royal Canin truly does support it's breeder clients, not only with nutrition but with learning opportunities like this one. The support offered is truly amazing.Thanks for the opportunity to start my walking program again, what a way to see Le Grande Motte and the south of France. They almost crippled me. The food was exceptional, Royal Canin really does feed us well. And of course the wine was totally magnifique!!!!!!!!
MaryLou Hyatt Rutherford/Fargoridge:One of the things I will take away from this is that everyone there was there for the same reason. No matter what breed, no matter how many dogs or how many champions. Everyone just loves their dogs and wants them to be healthy, look healthy and do the job they are supposed to (whether that is to sit on your couch, find a lost child, or work for customs or lead a blind person). I already knew that Royal Canin supports all the needs of every dog and their tireless efforts in continuous research solidifies this.The Canadian contingent was an excellent group of people and I think we represented Royal Canin Canada well. We also were able to sample many of the local area wines, food and desserts. I am fairly sure this was part of the assignment also. The staff at Novotel was super accommodating and while the taxi drivers and restauranteurs must not have known we were in the area or they would have opened for us for dinner on a Sunday and given us a taxi ride home at 9 pm! :) All part of the adventure! You will be glad to know my high school french came out and I am now fluent! "Petu Petu donne moi le poulet"! Ask Pierry!
Yvonne Poire/Full of Bull: The message I took away from this convention is Royal Canin is all about partnership, we have the same goals/vision - healthy, happy animals. I can't say enough about how impressed I was with everyone I met from Royal Canin, they are very caring people, open to sharing everything about the passion of the company, and they live the passion. Thank you for allowing me this opportunity.
Pierry McLean/RC Canada: What I learned from this trip confirmed my belief in the Royal Canin PetFirst philosophy - to improve the lives of cats and dogs worldwide. To educate our breeders so they have the knowledge and the tools to improve their breed and breeding practices.
Remember we are all part of the same PRO community! Don’t hesitate then: share with us your experiences, ask your questions and let us know what you think! Social networks enable us to keep the discussion going, so whether you are a Facebooker or a Twitter-addict, you can – and should!- be part of it!