Pork industry officials were bullish during a recent agricultural seminar about the future of pork consumption in Latin America and the region's potential as a pork exporter.
The 11th International Seminar on Health and Pig Production, developed by PorkColumbia, was held at the Agroexpo in Bogota, Colombia. Much of the conversation centered on high-quality pork production, as well as the progress in the percentages of pork being produced, consumed and exported in various areas of the world.
Diego Braña, the value added manager at Elanco for Latin America-North, discussed the state of the pork industry in the Northern Latin American region and why the market has great potential to grow, Corferias reported.
"In this region of the world, there is water, resources and personnel — everything necessary to increase the meat productivity that the planet will need in recent years," Braña said of the region he represents.
Braña added that Asia is the largest pork producer in the world. He mentioned that the United States is projected to see a 4 percent increase this year in its pork production, and that the country currently exports 31 percent of the pork it produces.
Pork consumption is steadily growing in Colombia, which has been of great benefit to the country's pork producers. According to Corferias, President of PorkColombia Carlos Alberto Maya said Colombia's per-capita consumption of pork grew from approximately 9 pounds in 2009 to approximately 19 pounds in 2016, and that the country is ripe to begin exporting to Asia to support its growth.
"The Colombian market sees the opportunity to double production in about seven or eight years," Maya said. "But if you had the opportunity to capture the markets of China, Korea or Vietnam, the possibility of growth would be four times greater."