Technical director retires from Aviagen after 47-year poultry career

Otto van Tuijl, technical director of Aviagen has retired after a career spanning almost 47 years in the poultry industry.

image of Otto VanTuijl

Having begun his professional life in Lebanon, his connection with Ross started in South Africa working with a Ross customer. Van Tuijl then joined Ross Breeders, now Aviagen, in 1986. Initially working as a part of the international technical service team, he provided support to customers across Europe and Northern Africa. In 1991, he accepted the position of technical director with Aviagen EPI, and has been responsible for a team of technical managers for over 20 years, spanning several countries across Europe, including Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland and Poland.

Van Tuijl is renowned for his hands-on expertise across farm and bird management, research and benchmarking, having worked with more than 1,000 customers at all levels of the production chain.  He played a key role in setting up Aviagen’s dedicated Spelderholt trials facility in the Netherlands, a self-contained, comprehensive research operation covering all aspects of breeder, incubation and commercial broiler performance. Van Tuijl was also instrumental in developing Aviagen’s portfolio of slower-growing birds, the Rowan Range.

Patrick Claeys, president of European operations at Aviagen, said: “Otto has played a fundamental role in the growth of Aviagen EPI, but his influence reaches far beyond those customers alone. Otto is a global leader whose voice is always heard at cross-disciplinary working groups and forums. His contribution will be sorely missed by the entire team, from colleagues to customers.”

In addition to his work with Aviagen, van Tuijl has been on the board of various industry bodies, including IKB Kip, the quality certification system in the Netherlands. He also has been involved in research projects with a number of universities and will continue to share his knowledge with the next generation of poultry professionals in his role as a PhD mentor at Leuven University.

Van Tuijl commented: “I feel privileged to have witnessed so many developments in the poultry industry across broilers and breeders. With further reproductive performance improvements on the horizon and slower-growing birds gaining in popularity, it is a fascinating time to work in the poultry sector. A particular highlight for me was helping Aviagen EPI to gain ISO certification for all our operations in the late 90s as it underpinned our group approach to quality control. Working with other industry leaders to shape the future of the sector has been extremely fulfilling. That said, I will not only miss the fantastic people, but the birds as well.”

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