WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — In August, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) conducted a series of workshops in Colombia to promote U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) use to the poultry and swine sectors in the country.

In four days, the USGC delegation visited four different cities to meet with importers, feed millers and livestock producers to promote the potential benefits of using DDGS. Participants included Dr. Phillip Smith, a poultry nutritionist with Tyson Food Inc., Gregorio Lanz, a swine nutritionist with Gowans Feed Consulting and Jose Artigas, director of business development for Poet Nutrition.

Colombia is the largest co-products market in South America, importing 140,000 tonnes in 2010 (74,000 tonnes of DDGS and 68,500 tonnes of corn gluten). According to USGC Regional Director in Latin America Kurt Shutlz, however, the market potential for DDGS could be as high as 750,000 tonnes.

“Several key developments must occur in order to reach this potential,” said Shultz. “First, approval and implementation of the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement will remove 10% duty on U.S. DDGS. Secondly, the availability of DDGS in the Colombian market must be increased, which will require more USGC member involvement in exporting to Colombia. Finally, the council must work diligently to make Colombian nutritionists comfortable in using DDGS at high-inclusion rates.”

Council analysis of DDGS in the Colombian market shows the potential of significant prices savings by aggressively formulating with DDGS.

“Now the council needs to educate Colombian end-users so they can capitalize on these savings,” he said.