530 exhibitors from 21 countries took part in the event held in Denmark, which had visitors from over 40 countries, including a Chilean delegation with representatives from ChileCarne, Maxagro, AASA, and Coexca.

Held from November 29 to December 2 at the MCH Messecenter Herning in Denmark, Agromek was an opportunity for a Chilean-Peruvian delegation to learn about various innovations related to animal production, thanks to an invitation from the Danish Embassy. Daniela Álvarez, ChileCarne’s Sustainability Manager; Ximena Cáceres, Maxagro’s Head of Sustainability; Alejandro Gebauer, AASA’s Head of Management and Projects; and Ismael Valenzuela, Coexca’s Environment Deputy Manager from Chile, attended the event together with representatives of the Peruvian Association of Pork Producers (ASOPORCI), and the companies Grupo ISAMISA and Santo Martín.

In an interview, Daniela Álvarez gave some details about their experience: “Our visit to Denmark lasted four days; we spent two at the trade fair and two doing on-site visits to see the latest innovations in farms and slaughterhouses, all of which gave us an innovative and updated look at how Denmark has moved forward in animal production. Based on hard data, they showed us how they have evolved, with concrete parameters that we can compare with the data available in Chile. They also know a lot about the situation in Chile, so they can clearly show us in which direction the industry should be moving to be even more sustainable,” she explained.

The Chilean delegation was able to learn about innovations in swine genetics, technological solutions for biosecurity and traceability, feed plants, feeding lines, surface cleaning and disinfection, modular stables and slaughterhouses, and small-scale mobile processing rooms, as well as NCRE-based production.

“The fair was an interesting opportunity to see how many of the innovations in the area of sustainability actually work. For example, in slurry treatment, we saw collection systems within the farms that are more efficient as they produce less greenhouse gas emissions. We learned about efficient use of water in the sheds, and all this was also covered at B2B meetings with more details about these technologies,” she pointed out.

The Danish Embassy also organized technical meetings with SEGES, the Danish innovation institute that works closely with the government, academia, and producers, to highlight the country’s research and development over the last 20 years. The delegation had the opportunity to get a full picture of animal production and agri-food production in general.

“The trip allowed us to see their path to growth, where this country is heading, and its commitment to specialization and efficiency, and especially to sustainability. We saw how the entire chain is organized to increase productivity and stay efficient, despite the difficult conditions they are facing, and how that coordination has helped them stay afloat, because there is a strong commitment to it across the board, from the government, producers, academia, and all those involved in the industry. Seeing this business model in action and how it was designed opens our eyes to help us move in the same direction,” added ChileCarne’s Sustainability Manager.

In summary, the visit to Denmark confirmed how productive efficiency throughout the chain ensures the business’ sustainability in the country and how the model connects the government and its agencies with public policies based on a strategy of ongoing innovation, development, and funding to preserve and improve the sector’s competitiveness.

According to Janni Hales, SEGES expert: “Today, we produce two pigs with the same environmental impact one pig had in 1985.” To put that in context, she provided some figures: in 1954, Denmark had more than 40,000 farms and produced about 10 million pigs a year that were slaughtered in 40 plants. In 2012, the number of farms was around 4,000 and today that figure is even lower: only 2,230 pig farms that produce 35 million pigs per year. There are only eight slaughter plants that process 54% of production and the remaining animals are exported live to other European Union countries, all of which speaks to the optimization of the Danish process.

“They explained their financing model in detail. The taxes that the State collects for everything innovation-related; because at the end of the day it all translates into public policy, which is also very interesting to observe. A country that has a clear vision for what it does, what helps doing it, and how to further promote it through various mechanisms and clear policy; how they are organized so that everything works,” she concluded.