Wagyu around the World - Colombia
Wagyu were initially introduced to Colombia from Uruguay - which had imported their Wagyu genetics from Australia and USA.
Wagyu Colombia is a commercial company breeding, fattening and marketing Wagyu. They operate in Galerias de San Diego and are pioneers of the commercial crossing of Wagyu with Braham in Colombia.
In 2014 Colombian companies invested in the importation of Black Wagyu and Red Wagyu/Akaushi embryos from USA. The President of the National Federation of Cattlemen “Fedegan” José Félix Lafaurie reported how the roll out of Wagyu genetics was accelerated in the process to enable Colombia to generate the most desirable beef in the world.
Alejandro Velezmoro is the founder and President of the Colombian Association of Wagyu Breeders (Asowagyu). It is a non-profit association that seeks to promote excellence in beef in Latin America, through the promotion of Wagyu in the region. Breeders are offered training in 100% Wagyu pure and crossbred production. Traceability and the provision of the Wagyu genetics through to the marketing of the high quality beef are undertaken.
Its stated vision is that by 2030 it will be a consolidated association with over 5,000 breeders of Wagyu and its crosses in Latin America, with a herd of more than 50,000 head of pure or Wagyu infused cattle. The association is to be recognised for its excellence in services in the breeding process from conception through to final marketing of the beef.
Livestock entities have been established with partners of Asowagyu in the major cattle regions of the country. Its main purpose is to support the promotion of the breed through various activities such as holding fairs, exhibitions, grazing performance tests, picnics, seminars, auctions and other events that bring together the Asowagyu community together. Examples of them are: Asowagyu Committee of Antioquia, Atlantic Asowagyu Committee, Asowagyu Committee of Arauca, Asowagyu Committee of Boyacá, Caquetá Asowagyu Committee, Asowagyu Committee of Caldas, Cesar Asowagyu Committee, Asowagyu Committee of Cundinamarca, Huila Asowagyu Committee, Asowagyu Target Committee, Asowagyu Committee of Tolima and Asowagyu Committee of Valle del Cauca.
The Ministry of Agriculture and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) are also involved in activities in the regions. After generation of pure Wagyu, they will be crossed with Cebuinas breeds and Creole – such as Blanco Orejinegro, Romosinuano and Sanmartinero. The goal is to produce Wagyu crosses with Creole to offer Colombian producers very high quality cuts with local prices.
There are three registration categories in the Asowagyu herdbook:
Full Blood 100% Wagyu content.
Pure Breed is fifth generation back to Wagyu with almost 97% Wagyu content.
Mixed “Mestizos”registration is for crosses and starts with F1 on 50%, F2 on 75% and F3 is 87.5% Wagyu content.
Javier Betancourt, promoter of the breed and member of the Technical Department of the Association gave an update recently: "Today there are 80 producers with 300 certified animals. We have 1,270 members belonging to the association. Many have between 3 and 5 cows.”
Both Black Wagyu and Red Wagyu/Akaushi genetics has been introduced. In Antioquia the black are seen, also Black Wagyu over Brahman. Red Wagyu/Akaushi have been reported in Tolima and Huila.
The International Akaushi Registry Association has an office located in Ibague, Tolima, Colombia. General Manager is Maria Camila Amaya. She is responsible for the distribution of Red Wagyu/Akaushi genetics throughout Latin America.
Colombian Association of Wagyu Breeders "Asowagyu" website
Wagyu Colombia website