Amid the current economic environment in Argentina and the slump in pet food consumption, the industry held the first edition of a long-awaited event, the Pet Food Industry Congress in Latin America (CIPAL), in Buenos Aires, September 18-19.

CIPAL was the first international pet food event in Argentina, the biggest pet-loving country in Latin America and, perhaps, one of the largest in the world.

The forum signified an accomplishment for the Argentinian pet food industry. In its first edition, it received more than 600 participants from 10 countries, including the US and Europe, according to organizers.

Networking, education for pet food professionals

As Ivan Marquetti, managing partner of All Extruded and event organizer, stated, the most significant outcome of the event was reinforcing the bonds of the pet food industry, along with providing education for pet food professionals and updates on the industry’s hottest topics.

Argentina is the third biggest pet food consumer country in Latin America. However, before CIPAL, it did not have an event in the country that was open to the industry, and where pet food professionals and suppliers could meet, network and refresh their knowledge on the latest trends.

Besides being a meeting point for pet food professionals, Cipal served as an industry liaison and to close new businesses among pet food companies and suppliers, according to Marquetti. In addition, subject-matter experts delivered conferences sessions on some of the latest market trends, as well as up-to-date technical information.

CIPAL welcomed numerous market-leading companies within the technology, machinery, nutrition and flavors supply sectors. Such a mix of industry leaders facilitated the exchange of ideas and the surge of new commercial alliances among pet food innovators.

In this token, the event also hosted a few packaging companies as they are increasingly important for the industry. With the trends of planet health and waste management, packaging manufacturers are expected to be active in developing and launching new planet-friendly packaging products.

A forum that came to stay

The organizers are committed to raising the bar in terms of content and attendees for the next edition, planned for 2021. Marquetti believes CIPAL is here to stay, as the Argentinian market offers opportunities, regardless of the current economic environment. For example, premiumization of the local pet food market is gaining momentum.

All the above factors signal Argentina is meant to become a regional hub for South America in the years to come.