Meet the Expert - Wouter Deley

Published on April 25, 2024

Meet the Expert - Wouter Deley

Keep reading to uncover the stories, passions, and expertise that make our Hypor team unique.

Who is Wouter Deley

I graduated in 1993 as Doctor in Veterinary Sciences with a specialization in pig farm-management and porcine virology, from the Veterinary Faculty of the University of Ghent in Belgium. In 1997, I joined Hypor and as the company went global, I followed… I first focused in Spain, then Russia and Eastern Europe, then over to Asia, and now I've added LATAM with a possible minor project in Africa.

Initially I worked as production manager and veterinarian but now my work is more specialized to the veterinary side of the industry. I am mainly responsible for the sanitary programs and biosecurity protocols regarding all nucleus-breeding sites in the organization. I focus on biosecurity and assistance in connecting the Hypor-nuclei with the global key accounts, including the delivery of animals and semen as well as deliveries to their major clients.

What inspired you to pursue a career in the swine industry?

The choice for being a veterinarian in general was to combine the expertise of a highly skilled scientist with a ‘hands-on’ approach. I still see myself as a ‘field-veterinarian’.

When graduating, I decided to work for a company where the product is still an animal, as opposed to pharmaceutical companies or feed companies. For this reason, breeding companies became my scope of interest. In particular, I chose the swine industry because this type of production allows you to control (almost) every influencing factor for success. If budget allows, you can almost decide on the possible outcome. The extra study in virological pig disease interests me mainly from an epidemiological point of view. Disease outbreaks are one of the most concerning issues in our industry. How to protect our units does depend on our own actions, but also on the behavior of the involved pathogens.

When it comes to working with customers, what’s your “superpower”?

What should be considered my ‘basic power’, is the knowledge and expertise mentioned above (not as easy as it sounds).

For me personally, I've been able to translate my expertise to over 35 countries so far. I can translate technical protocols into tailormade hands-on protocols, which are understood and applied by various cultures. My main power is that I can respect everybody’s input and culture (we all still learn from each other), while still enhancing my own ideas, into a commonly agreed concept that can deliver results.

What was the most rewarding project you worked on and why?

It is always rewarding to play a part in a successful project. Some short-term projects I am proud of include, disease-eradication in several countries with long term effects, such as HYPOR-JAPFA JV in Vietnam, Sichamps France, Bon Accord Canada, and successful fills of entire units in USA, Mexico, and Philippines.

Long term projects that have been rewarding involve setting up entire new structures and seeing that biosecurity is maintained, including Znamensky Russia, HYPOR-GGP and PS sales in Vietnam. I am looking forward to making the same impact in China soon!

How do you see the future of the swine industry evolving?

Pork meat production will differentiate into a ‘global’ quality. This will likely NOT be produced in Western Europe, as regulations on environment/welfare/production systems will affect the rendering process further. Also, there is no growing consumer market in Western Europe. Primary production will shift to Asia (a growing market), remain in USA/Canada, and likely later on develop further in LATAM. Subsequently, countries like India and continents like Africa will join.

I also see the development of a ‘niche’ market based on specific meat-quality parameters. This can also be maintained in Western Europe as this type of consumer does not really care about the price of his ‘extra quality meat’.

Pork production itself will change with the lack of personnel, forcing companies to work very standardized in bigger units, which will then increase the demand on welfare and environmental standards, etc. This will create a ‘selection of countries’ where the pork industry will be more likely to develop (as mentioned above)

Outside the swine industry, what are you passionate about?

When you travel 50% of the time, there is no option to join any group activity in your private life, you miss all appointments anyway… So whenever I am at home, I focus on family and friends. If any time is left, I like to cruise around in my oldtimer or on my motorbike. If I ever retire, I plan to revisit a hobby I practiced as a youngster for more than 20 years and is rather big in Belgium: breeding racing pigeons. Actually, my first understanding of the power of genetics originates in that activity and started around 45 years ago!

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