On October 3 – 5 the first edition of VICTAM LatAm will take place in São Paulo, Brazil. General director Sebas van den Ende tells us more about the decision to expand to Latin America and what to expect during the show.
Can you tell us the story behind this first edition of VICTAM LatAm, why did you decide to expand VICTAM to Latin America?
I used to live in Brazil, we were running our exhibition company from there and we were always looking at new segments to extend our exhibition portfolio. Even then it was very clear that agribusiness, like livestock, soy, sugar cane, corn and grain had huge potential. We never touched these industries, as we could see there were already strong stakeholders. We felt a well-established exhibition brand would be necessary to be successful in these industries.
So, naturally it followed, that when I started at VICTAM, Latin America was a continent that had our priority to research and that the research confirmed the potential as we had noticed earlier.
Latin America has an important role in the global animal nutrition and grain processing industries and, in this way, after we established our events in Europe and Asia, it was the right time to be present in Latin America.
Also our exhibitors reacted positively about exhibiting in the region even before we launched the event in the continent, we already had the commitment of our founding companies Andritz, CPM, Famsun, Wenger and Zheng Chang.
Latin America, of course, is much more than Brazil, so the question was where to launch VICTAM LatAm. Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru are all very important markets for our exhibitors and we considered all of them as possibilities.
We decided to launch our event in Sao Paulo, as Brazil is the biggest country in the continent and Sao Paulo is a central and important hub. There are flight connections to all major cities in South America, good hotels and good facilities to organise events. Of course, my knowledge and connections in Brazil were also factors in the decision as we could start the event in third gear.
What about the feed and grain market in that area? What are the main trends?
The animal feed and grain industries in Latin America are very important markets and are rapidly growing sectors. Let me give some numbers to show the size of the market.
The production of animal feed in Brazil is 82 million tons of feed per year with a yearly growth from 3 to 5 %.
For the production of grains (rice, barley, corn, soybeans, and wheat), Brazil remains in fourth place in the world production, only after China, the United States and India, but before countries like Mexico, Russia, Vietnam, Argentina and Germany. In 2023, Brazil will have the largest grain harvest ever produced with an expected volume of 317.6 million tons.
In Brazil they are aware that the feed and grain processing industries have an important role to play in promoting sustainability and circular economy practices. There is a growing awareness among consumers and industry stakeholders about the need to reduce waste, conserve resources, and minimise the environmental impact of industrial processes. Thus, it is important for the industry to adopt sustainable practices that support the circular economy.
At our event, these are important themes and we give it quite some attention. In our conference programme there are several sessions about sustainability and we always challenge exhibitors to develop innovations to stimulate this circular economy.
Why should people attend Victam LatAm? What can visitors expect from the show?
For the mid-term, our goal is to make VICTAM LatAm together with our partner GEAPS (the North American Grain Elevator and Processing Society), the main catalyst for business focused on animal nutrition and grain processing in Latin America.
With our first edition we made a good start to realise this goal, with 10,000 m2 of exhibition area and the confirmation of more than 150 national and international companies, who are representing about 250 brands, the result is even better than the high expectations we had. Besides our Founding companies our exhibitor list exists of many leading companies, such as AGI, Buhler, Evonik, Ferraz, Geelen, Kahl, Krabbe, Morillon and Van Aarsen.
VICTAM LatAm offers visitors from Latin America to learn about the main innovations in the areas of machinery, equipment, silos and ingredients, both on the exhibition floor as well as in the conference rooms, where seminars are given about trends in the market and how to develop the market by promoting productivity, efficiency and sustainability. The fact that several strong Brazilian and Argentine institutions use the platform to host a conference is an important step towards our goal here in Latin America.
What are the plans for Victam LatAm, is it going to be a reoccurring event, like other Victam shows?
VICTAM is part of a foundation with the mission of benefiting the animal nutrition industry. For us, the result of the event for our participants is more important than the financial results. After all, the profit we make will go back to the industry by donations to projects and research. Our objective with our events is having bi-annual events in 4 regions (Asia, Europe, Latin America and Middle East/Africa) in the world.
For our event VICTAM LatAm, as this will be a bi-annual event, the next edition will be in October 2025. In the future we also might go to other locations in Latin America but this is not yet decided and also will depend on the results of the event and the feedback from our participants. In the future, we hope that VICTAM will develop close partnerships and co-host with other events and strategic partners, so that it grows together with other events on the continent. The most important thing is that we answer the needs of the market: it’s not only about what’s convenient for us but rather about meeting our customers’ needs.
What will make the event a success? When are you satisfied?
We believe that our event in Sao Paulo this October will be a big success. Around 150 companies have already signed up, which exceeded our goals for this first event. This will be an event for the whole continent, and we already see quite some registrations from feed mills, pet food producers and flour millers from several countries from South America. It will be a complete event where companies will meet, potential and existing, clients from the whole continent.
Obviously, the most important factor for a successful networking event is to meet the right people. Meeting people with the same interests, meeting people who can help you with a need, problem or question. The more of these contacts the better it is. If you can combine these meetings, with seeing solutions, feeling a machine and listening to interesting sessions you have a successful networking event.
So we will be satisfied if our participants will have valuable contacts and moments. A bit of a cliché, but the success of our exhibitors is our success, so if they are satisfied, we are satisfied,