A strong UK presence at Agro Futuro, Bogota, Colombia 22-24 August 2018 was made possible with support from the Department of International Trade (DIT), UK-Colombia Trade, the British Embassy and the UK-Colombia Prosperity Fund.
This well-structured, indoor technical show plays host to some 450 exhibitors and 25,000 visitors over three days. British companies present included AgriCompas, Environment Systems, Agritech World, Catapult Satellite Applications, Russell IPM, Stable, Fera, EcoStim, Delta Wagyu, Triage and the British Livestock Genetics Consortium.
On the livestock front, some useful contacts were made at breeder, AI company and importantly at Ministry (ICA is Defra's in-country equivalent), DIT and UK-Colombia Prosperity Fund level to help ease future business and certification.
Overall, there was good interest in British-bred cattle and genetics (an Export Health Certificate - EHC - is in place for bovine semen) with some demand also for sheep and pigs.
The beef and dairy combined cattle population is Colombia is around 24 million head (up from 20m in 2001) with the predominant beef breeds being Brahman, Zebu, Brangus (Brahman x Angus), Angus, and Simmental with the proportion of European breeds in the bloodlines generally increasing at higher (cooler) altitudes. Whilst not a traditional meat for Colombian households, the production of lamb is growing as the culture changes and demand rises - particularly from the growing middle classes which represent 31% of the population.
Pre-show there was a visit to Colibri Flowers including a welcome reception with Dr Peter Tibber, British Ambassador to Colombia, and Augusto Solano, President of the Colombian Flower Association.
The first show day started with a briefing on Colombia with Dr Martin Johnston, Programme Manager Colombia Prosperity Fund, welcoming the UK participants. Presentations then followed: Investment Environment & Business Opportunities in Colombia (Leidy Heredia, Deputy Programme Manager Colombia Prosperity Fund); Opportunities for the AgriTech Sector in Colombia (Pedro Castro, Agriculture Adviser Colombia Prosperity Fund); DIT in Colombia (Carlos Olano, Deputy Director DIT Colombia); Supporting UK Companies in Colombia (Michael Phillips, Trade Development Manager, UK-Colombia Trade).
Grateful thanks are extended to all those who worked so hard in bringing all the elements together for a worthwhile and stimulating programme.