Friday, August 5, 2011

Journey to Colombia

In July, a group representing the Canadian Angus Association and Canadian Beef Breeds Council (CBBC) travelled to Colombia in an effort to influence an increase in trade relations between our nations. On August 15 the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and Colombia will take effect, and through this we expect to see an increase in the amount of Canadian Angus genetics and Canadian Angus beef exported to Colombia. I had the honour of representing the Canadian Angus Association along with President David Bolduc. Mauricio Arcila (Technical Services Coordinator) and Doug Fee (Executive Committee Director) represented CBBC on this mission.

While in Bogota we attended Agroexpo. This is a farm and ranch show that featured exhibits from various equipment dealers, equine events and livestock shows. It was held in a facility similar to that of the major Canadian exhibitions. It is held every two years and is the largest agricultural fair in northern South America and the Caribbean.

In 2011 the Angus-Brangus Association of Colombia is celebrating their 15th anniversary. We were invited to attend a reception to celebrate this milestone. At many different times over the five days at Agroexpo we were able to meet and have excellent discussions with their President Gustavo Lobo Gurerro and Executive Director Juan Santiago. They identified a strong desire to work with the Canadian Angus Association and we reciprocated that sentiment.

The Angus show was divided over two days with males and females showing on different days. The Red and Black animals showed together but separate from the Brangus. The style of showing was similar to that of North America with a few subtle differences, mostly in the showmanship area. Not dissimilar from our Canadian shows, the quality of cattle varied. The top animals would be competitive in our shows and the lower end animals were relatively poor. It was difficult to tell if this was a function of genetics or management.

This was a very successful mission for the Canadian Angus Association but there is still a significant amount of work to be done before we will know the exact potential of the market.

Read more about our Journey to Colombia in the next edition of Angus World.

Posted by Michael Latimer