Over the past decade, Eastern European countries Romania and Bulgaria have achieved tremendous improvements and growth in animal production. By far, these countries’ poultry industries lead this growth and remain the main consumers of soy and soy derivatives. The Romanian poultry industry grew 15 percent in 2017 over 2016.
Some areas, however, have not yet reached their maximum development potential. As such, there is a high potential for increasing feed, poultry, and livestock production in southern Romania and northeast Bulgaria due to geographical location and available resources in the proximity of the grain baskets area and close to Constanta Port (the main delivery port on the Black Sea).
Young poultry companies run by entrepreneurs in these areas focus on continuous innovation and improvement in the highly competitive EU context. With relatively little resources and sometimes dealing with unfavorable economic conditions, Eastern European entrepreneurs are engaged in rebuilding businesses from ruined former state farms or green field projects and have succeeded in developing efficiency-driven productive activities resulting in economic growth, such as increased animal production.
Although the poultry and feed industries from Romania and Bulgaria are governed and functioning at EU standards, the quick development of the poultry industry is influenced by highly active local investors and entrepreneurs and requires continuous improvements in professional knowledge for poultry nutritionists, quality control, and feed mill managers.
In an attempt to support the fast-growing poultry industries in Romania and Bulgaria, USSEC developed and implemented a series of customer visits and onsite technical master classes in poultry nutrition at customers’ facilities in southern Romania and northern Bulgaria during the fourth week of May.
USSEC consultants Dr. Birger Svihus, Dr. Ozren Zimonja, Dr. Gonzalo Mateos, and Dr. Iani Chihaia worked together to implement this activity, which focused on sharing knowledge with customers on soy differentiation between origins and suppliers and the management of raw materials stocks and physical segregation of ingredients as fundamental factors in improving the profitability of poultry integrations from the Constanta and Dobrich areas.
Romanian and Bulgarian customers visited were very appreciative in receiving support in terms of sharing knowledge and experience but said they would prefer to have a more complex approach for a potential relationship, covering issues such as the quality of U.S. soybean meal and oil.
The meetings with customers offered the chance for USSEC to learn how U.S. Soy should be better positioned and promoted to the European market. In addition to broiler meat production, the Romanian and Bulgarian poultry industries are growing through niche market products such as designed eggs, meat ducks, and quails.