Buenos Aires, August 2nd. Owned by more than 3,200 Danish farmers, DLF is one of the world largest supplier of forage and turf seeds. Its global revenue rounds 3,527 millions of Denmark Crowns or 550 million dollars. As one of the more relevant players in the European forage market, in the last years, the cooperative has put its eyes in the Latin American market. “We are talking of a market that rounds 50,000 tons per year of forage seeds, and where Argentina with 25,000 tons is a key country in the region”, comments Mr. Maximino Borsi, head of Exports from DLF, talking with www.eFarmNewsAr.
The landing of the DLF in the South Cone started in 2016 with the acquisition of Uruguayan company Estero, the third largest forage and turf grass supplier in that country, and continued during 2018 with the buying of GAPP SA, a forage seed company based at Pergamino (Buenos Aires Province) that is positioned between the five large companies in Argentina.
“GAPP had a portfolio very suitable or complementary to the DLF offer. They were are a very strong company supplying alfalfa, festuca (F. arundinacea) and ‘cebadilla’ (Bromus unioloides), with a large dealers network and an efficient sales team”, says Mr. Borsi. “Meanwhile, DLF is contributing to GAPP whit its own genetic, basically grasses and clovers, and this enhances the exports from Argentina to the Latin American market. In fact, during June we carried out the first sales of clover and ryegrass to Peru”, added the local DLF executive.
With the acquisition of Estero and GAPP, DLF is mounting a powerful platform to supply the forage seed market from the Rio Grande River to the South of America. “Currently we are focused in cool forage seeds, not in tropical (warm) ones, where Brazil is a key player. But in the tropical forage seed market is under analysis. The goal of DLF for the Latam market is to be between the first three largest suppliers in the medium term”, Mr. Borsi anticipates.
But where is focusing the I+D section of the Danish company? “There are three main areas where our scientists are working. The first one is to develop new varieties with more digestibility; the second is to develop plants with a deeper and powerful root system, to have a better performance under stress conditions; and third, last but not least, new varieties with more tolerance to salinity and alkalinity conditions”, explains the interviewed.
The Danish world wave
According to the 2016/17 Annual Report, DLF is enhancing its presence around the world. In the North American market, the Danish cooperative bought X-Seeds in the US and Moore Seeds in Canada, that supplement the bought of Pickseeds.
In the South Cone, furthermore of the acquisition of Estero y GAPP in Latin American, DLF runs a joint venture with Zaad Holding in South Africa, a country which is the entrance door to the SubSaharian market. Also, the cooperative acquired the alfalfa seed program of French Florimond Desprez, but previously, they had bought Cebeco Seeds to Limagrain and the grass unit from Advanta.
How did that political changes occurred after December 2015 in Argentina have impacted in the forage seed market? “Ranchers are demanding more perennial pastures, a fact we understand as a more predictable scenario. Beef and milk producers currently demand a mix of pastures as alfalfa and festuca, or festololium, or clovers. We hope an increasing market for the next years, pulled by beef exports and a recuperation of the dairy production”, concludes Mr. Borsi.
Addenda: The PGG Wrightson Seed Agreement
A day after our interview with Maximino Borsi, DLF announced the agreement to buy the New Zealand forage seed company PGG Wrightson Seeds. Based at Pergamino (Buenos Aires Province), PGG Wrightson Seeds is a key player both in the local market as the Uruguayan one. According to the press release, PGG lead the cool forage seed market in the South Hemisphere and its portfolio supplement adequately the DLF one. “Clearly, if this agreement is approved by regulatory authorities, we became to be the largest forage seed company in the Latin America market”, Borsi said to www.eFarmNews.Ar.