In an effort to promote U.S. Soy and to support the local feed manufacturers’ association, USSEC attended the fifth annual conference of the Romanian Feed Manufacturers Association in Bucharest, Romania. The title and conference agenda, “Animal Nutrition and the Feed Industry at a New Crossroad – Answers, Solutions and Innovations for the Next Wave of Changes and Challenges,” approached the near future challenges of the feed and livestock industries such as: the recent spread of endemic animal diseases in Europe; animal production free of antibiotics; the role of soy in animal nutrition; the possible disagreement in international trade and its impact on EU feed and livestock efficiency; and new feed processing technologies to prevent the spread of disease.
The event was well attended and allowed for a good exchange and discussion. Two U.S. Soy experts were invited to join the event, Gunnar Lynum, Ohio Soybean Association consultant, and Dr. Jan van Eys, USSEC regional consultant. Participation and interest were high, clearly reflecting the personal commitment of the organizers and participants. USSEC was well represented and definitely recognized as a positive, major supporter of the feed industry in this rapidly developing market.
Mr. Lynum’s presentation, “U.S. Soybeans: Direct from the Farm to the International Market,” focused on how the direct delivery from farm to feed producers of containerized soybeans is an important part of the U.S. Soy Advantage. Participants asked to be kept informed before the harvest of the next crop so that they can start to learn about possibilities to import U.S. soybeans in containers.
Dr. van Eys presented his paper, “The EU Feed Industry and the Critical Role of Soy and Soy Products: Past, Present, and Future.” The critical point of this presentation was the tremendous untapped potential of the Romanian livestock sector, and thus, the feed industry’s future development.
While the feed production numbers stay flat or negative in most of the Western European countries, the Eastern European countries and especially Romanian livestock production is growing rapidly and is well above the rate of growth seen in neighboring countries. This will require an increased amount of commodities/products and know-how. Consequently, the prospects for U.S. Soy are excellent and deserve further effort and attention.