Dear World Jersey Cattle Bureau members,
This year will certainly go down as one of the most traumatic in our lives, and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will live long in our memories and affect the way we live for a little while yet. The dairy industry around the world continues to face numerous challenges, but the effects of the pandemic have manifested themselves so that for some countries the trading situation has worsened, but for others they have been able to use the clear advantages of Jersey milk to grasp new commercial opportunities.
The pandemic has caused havoc with plans that we have all had for this year, and the proposed Bureau programs and activities are no exception. I have been meeting regularly with the officer team via video conference calls, and recently we have been focusing on the necessary re-arrangement of our scheduled meetings for the next couple of years. Below is a brief summary.
With the cancellation of the June 2020 Annual Meetings and Tour to Canada, the officer team has discussed what if any events we can hold this year, and due to travel restrictions and prevalence or effects of the virus in most countries around the world for the next few months. It has been decided that we will hold the World Jersey Cattle Bureau Meeting as a “virtual” Annual Council Meeting on Tuesday 8th September during the evening UK time. We are working on the precise details, technology and logistics to ensure that as many people as possible will be able to join us so that we can go through all the required formalities from the comfort and safety of our own homes.
Jersey Australia has requested a postponement of the World Conference until April/May 2022. This has been accepted by the Bureau officers. The organizers had already put in a tremendous amount of work towards planning a superb program, and in March/April were all ready to press the button for the next stage of plans and sponsorship drive. Clearly with lockdown and economic stress and uncertainty, it was not the right time to be approaching potential sponsors to sign up for their packages, and it was felt that postponing our World Conference for a year was the right thing to do.
That leaves us with a dilemma of what to arrange for our 2021 annual meeting and tour. At present we are working on coinciding this with the annual meeting of the European Jersey Forum in France in Sept/Oct. There would then be the possibility of extending the tour to include a visit to Jersey Island (via boat from St Malo), to see the tremendous progress that is being made by the breeders there.
Any plans we decide on will, of course, be dependent on air links being re-introduced and being safe to allow international visitors to participate. That is not a given, so we must be prepared to adapt our plans in time should assumptions on travel turn out not to be the case.
The Latin American Forum also intends to meet in 2021, and I would encourage all Bureau members to support that event.
Our (postponed) World Conference and Tours will take place in April/May in Australia. More details will be available early in 2021.
Vice President – North America
A few months ago Kathryn Roxburgh, our Vice President for North America, stood down from that position. Her replacement until the next World Conference will be Chris Sorenson, who was duly nominated by the AJCA and Jersey Canada. The officers have accepted his nomination and Chris’ appointment will be ratified by the full Council at the virtual Annual Meeting in September. Chris has a wealth of experience of leadership and breeding of Jersey cows, and I thank him for allowing his name to go forward for this VP position and look forward to working with him in the coming years.
World Jersey Cheese Awards
The 2020 World Jersey Cheese Awards is scheduled to take place in Oviedo, Spain between 4th and 7th November as part of the World Cheese Awards. At present this competition is taking place, but depending on the severity and effects of the pandemic around the world, this might change. Details will be published on the WJCB web site and also on the WJCA Facebook page in due course.
I wish you well during these unprecedented and challenging times.
Take care and stay safe.
Stephen V. Le Feuvre