The XVII Hereford World Conference was held in Uruguay from April 16 to 20, 2016.
Five panelists lectured about the story of the cattle industry –from XVII century to nowadays cattle tracking -, system production, online auctions and biosecurity.
Fabio Montosi, director of the National Research Institute of Agriculture and Livestock (Instituto Nacional de Investigación Agropecuaria, INIA), disserted about the production system. “From the pasture to the table” he said, remarking that the 70% of Uruguayan cattle diet are natural pastures.
Montosi mentioned a very important trilogy that buyers always keep in mind: the country of origin, the cattle diet and the price. And he remarked that the social, economic and environmental production process concerns the consumer, besides the price.
“Being a small country, Uruguay has the need to generate a quality and distinct product with added value” –he says.
He closed his presentation framing everything in a State Policy tending to sustainable intensification, “with a vision to nurture 50 million people in 2035”.
In turn, María Nela González, director of the National System of Cattle Information (Sistema Nacional de Información Ganadera, SNIG) explained to a foreign audience the history of the Uruguayan cattle industry and how the first attempts to identify cattle started in the XVIII century.
The last achievement started after the emergence of the foot and mouth disease in 2001. Three years later a pilot project of individual cattle identification started and in 2006 it was mandatory.
Now the 90% of cattle has individual tracking and the 100% is registered and identified.
Jorge Bonino, a private sector representative from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and responsible of the ovine biosecurity compartment, told the production experience behind these conditions.
He said that the compartment added trust and remarked the advantages that it brings for genetic commerce, products and livestock.
The trade finance moves every year around 2,5 and 3 millions heads of cattle – 2 millions are slaughtered – and is mainly made (52%) “from producer to producer”, explained the INIA researcher Bruno Lanfranco. Another 46% of the trade is for slaughter and the rest is for export (2%-4%). In turn, Walter Romay Elorza, a Hereford executive, remembered that the online sale was an innovative idea that started to develop around 1998 in the Breeders Society.
Source and picture: El Observador