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Aife: Italian-Spanish partnership for the promotion of dehydrated fodder

80% financed by the EU, the project has a total value of 1,180,000 euros

A three-year European project (2024-2026) started a few weeks ago, aimed at promoting dehydrated fodder produced in Europe and destined to gain market shares in Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia and Taiwan. The project has a total value of 1,180,000 euros and 80% of it is financed by the EU as part of a series of promotional activities regarding sustainable and high-quality agri-food products, which will be carried out by the Spanish agency Eibens.

The National Association of Dehydrated Alfalfa Producers (Aefa) is the leader of the project in which Aife/Italian Fodder Supply Chain also participates. Some aspects of the promotional activity that will unfold and characterize the three years of the project were illustrated by Pablo Recio , CEO of Eibens. “For seven years Eibens has been promoting the Spanish export of dehydrated fodder to China and Vietnam as part of projects financed by the Spanish Institute of Foreign Trade (Icex) and Aefa", explains Recio . "Initially we focused exclusively on export of dehydrated alfalfa to which we subsequently added dehydrated hay because we understood the Chinese market's interest in these productions, so much so that in the space of a few years, in China, we reached an export share of 14% placing us in second place as an exporting country. The experience gained in recent years has allowed us to develop strategies that we believe are effective for entering new markets such as Japan and Taiwan which currently import a lot of hay from the USA and which have a good knowledge of fodder products, while Indonesia and Vietnam represent totally emerging markets where no international supplier has yet established itself. The challenge we want to take on", adds the CEO of Eibens, "is to convince these countries that the increase in imported high-quality dehydrated fodder constitutes an advantage in stimulating the growth of the local dairy industry".

“Thanks to funding from the European Union and the collaboration of the main sector associations such as Aefa and Aife-Filiera Italiana Foraggi, we are confident of achieving an excellent impact”, continues Recio , indicating two identifiable "emerging" markets in Asia. with Indonesia and Vietnam, and two "mature" markets corresponding to Japan and Taiwan.

With reference to the advantages that European fodder, and Spanish and Italian fodder in particular, will be able to obtain, Recio explained: “With over 20% of dried fodder exported both within and beyond European borders, for a total value that in 2022 reached 550 million euros, Spain and Italy represent the second largest exporter in the world after the USA. According to the Inter-Union Commission of European Dehydrators (Cide) the total area dedicated to the production of dehydrated fodder in Europe exceeds 250,000 hectares. All participants in this project are making a great effort to achieve the set goals. It is primarily about increasing awareness and knowledge of European dehydrated fodder among at least 1,050 industry professionals and specialized media, but also managing to generate 7.38 million euros in additional sales of European dehydrated fodder to Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia and Vietnam by the end of the project.”

On the sidelines of Pablo Recio 's statements, the president of Aife-Filiera Foraggi Italiani, Gian Luca Bagnara (photo), intervenes to underline that "the challenge of this important European project is precisely to communicate with great clarity the quality standard that the forages have in common European dehydrated products based on a high level of sanitization, obtained through heat treatment. We want and must build the best market conditions useful for the valorisation and export of our product. It will then be up to each producing and processing company to implement the best strategies to compete and gain market share."

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EFA News - European Food Agency