The digital magazine aviNews, the world’s most influential Spanish media outlet on poultry farming, interviewed Juan Carlos Domínguez, President of ChileCarne, the Chilean Meat Exporters Association, to talk about the situation with the industry in Chile.
On an interview with aviNews Latin America, Domínguez explained that the mission of the Association is to promote the pork and poultry industries’ growth with a clear focus on exports and sustainable production. He explained that exports drive both agriculture and poultry farming in Chile, to be able to compete in the global market with a quality product that is environmentally sustainable. This is why Chile is currently positioned as the sixth pork exporter worldwide, and the eleventh in poultry exports.
Juan Carlos Domínguez talked about the beginnings of the food industry, pork and poultry in particular, which have displayed a strong need to open up to the world since its creation. This is why trade agreements are constantly being signed with countries relevant on the world stage, while obtaining the necessary health authorizations to reach various markets and building long-term relationships.
The Chilean poultry industry is mainly made up of large companies that produce and export this protein. These companies have a one-of-a-kind production model, where each of them has control over their entire production chain, from genetics to feed-producing plants, animal production areas, slaughterhouses and their related processes, as well as the logistics and marketing of each product.
Pork and poultry have shown steady growth over the past ten years, both in production and exports, and despite Covid-19 and the trade war, poultry exports will increase by 10% in 2020, according to Domínguez. Today, the poultry industry produces around 700,000 tons cwe of chicken per year, and between 70,000 and 80,000 tons cwe of turkey.
“We have a small market in Chile, and the only way to achieve efficiency is to look abroad. And that was the path pork and poultry started following in the 1980s. For the past 20 years, the industry has been working to raise health, safety, and biosecurity standards, since we know that the only way to compete with other countries in the region and to meet the requirements of destination countries and consumers is to be extremely efficient and do things right,” said the industry representative.
“Chile’s reality, thanks to that focus on demanding markets, allows us to be ahead of our neighbors. We have a board with various markets and customers, which means we have a large demand and a limited supply, and that is our main challenge,” he added.
Domínguez said that exporting is part of Chile’s DNA, and that there is a close public-private collaboration, which is key to being competitive. He also mentioned that the sector has adopted the latest technologies to increase production and be more efficient, which, added to the knowledge of Chile’s professionals and technicians, and the appropriate health and biosecurity conditions, allow them to have a very competitive poultry industry.
Regarding sustainability, the poultry industry has developed a circular economy that allows them to make use of both meat and natural fertilizer. “There is still much to do in this regard, but I believe we can make a significant contribution to a more sustainable world,” he concluded.