Argentine dairy co-op looks to Asia to boost exports

‘We will be able to generate operations as long as we have competitive prices’

Argentinian dairy co-op Manfrey has set its sights on entering the Indian and Vietnamese markets in a bid to increase exports.

The co-op’s president, Ercole Felippa, recently toured both countries as part of a commercial delegation to promote rapid negotiation of trade agreements and reduce trade barriers.

According to Argentine news service Diario La Voz De San Justo, Manfrey has historically exported 20% of its turnover, but that figured dropped to 10% in 2018. Felippa said the reason for this was “the company’s decision to incorporate a long-life milk production line – suddenly, our exportable surpluses were lower.”

He identified “interesting opportunities” to sell powdered and long life milk in Vietnam, and dulce de leche – a soft, caramel-like toffee made from milk – in India. According to reports, he is optimistic that the contacts made could translate into concrete business opportunities in the short term, as long as Manfrey can offer products at reasonable prices.

“With these or any other markets, we will be able to generate operations as long as we have competitive prices and can maintain the markets once they are achieved,” he said. “Historically, in this country, once you lose a market it is very difficult to recover it.”

He added that Manfrey “is working” to recover confidence in world markets. The co-op, which has its headquarters in Freyre, in the Cordoba region of Argentina, continues to exert a strong export presence in neighbouring countries such as Brazil and Chile. Among other countries in Latin America, the co-op has penetrated the Cuban and Mexican markets, where they also have commercial operations.