American Soybean Association (ASA) vice president Bret Davis and United Soybean Board (USB) director David Iverson traveled to Romania during the third week of March to visit with key soy importers and end users, including Bunge Romania, Banvit Romania, Combial – Bona Avis, Fatrom Swine Integration, and Smithfield Ferme. The delegation also visited the Animal Nutrition Research Institute (IBNA) to meet with shareholders, executives, and technical staff from customer companies. USSEC Regional Director European Union (EU) / Middle East-North Africa (MENA) Brent Babb joined the delegation and USSEC Animal Utilization Consultant – Romania Dr. Iani Chihaia escorted the group for the field visits.
The main goal of the grower leaders’ mission was to convey a strong message on the U.S. Soy Advantage and demonstrate the commitment of U.S. Soy farmers to the growing feed and livestock industries in Romania.
The week began with an informative meeting with Monica Dobrescu, Ag Specialist at Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) - Bucharest. Currently, Romania is the second largest EU 27 producer of maize and the top producers of sunflower seeds. With fertile soils and access to technologies, the country is producing annually over 20,000 metric tons (MT) of these products, but still exporting over 60 percent of the cereals and importing about half of the pork meat. The pork meat deficit and growing demand for animal products from the domestic and export markets has attracted several local and foreign investments (U.S., China, Denmark Holland, Turkey, Greece, and Switzerland) in the swine, poultry, and beef industries.
The delegation of U.S. Soy farmers had a tight and intensive program of visits, which gave them the chance to discover and understand Romania, one of the most important agriculture producing countries in Europe. Field visits were informative and allowed them to get a better understanding of the local farming sector, the reality of the feed and livestock industries, and the potential for progress and expansion. This helped the grower leaders to understand the opportunities and potential that exists in the Romanian market for growth in animal production and consequently, in the use of U.S. Soy products.
Continuing to support U.S. Soy customers will assist the development of this market and better position U.S. Soy products, especially because the companies and people visited during the week were very positive toward USSEC and U.S. Soy, standing to reason that the extra effort in supporting the current developments will deliver major returns in the near future.