26 Jan 2018

First of all, our sincere appreciation to Meatco for making possible this most amazing experience. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the 14 days in the UK and we returned to Namibia not only revitalized and with many fond memories of a wonderful time shared with the staff of Meatco UK, but also with a much deeper understanding and appreciation for the important role Meatco plays in the national economy in general and the farming community in particular. As Namibian beef producers, we are indeed proud to be involved in the supply of such a superior product and sought after brand.

How was the reception in the UK?
My wife and I were treated not only to a very professional and warm welcome upon our arrival in London, but to the best possible hosting by the whole Meatco UK team during the entire week. All arrangements - from personal travel and accommodation right through the logistics of a rather busy Meatco programme (including a healthy dose of entertainment and social interaction) - were done professionally and with much attention to even the smallest detail. Diane Harvey in particular did a splendid job of ensuring that everything went according to plan and that our every need was taken care of.
Most eye-opening experience on the trip?
Most probably the realization how complex the marketing side of the value chain has become in the past couple of years and how important it is to have a truly professional team in place to look after this business component. It is probably not that difficult to sell our Namibian beef in Europe purely as a commodity, but by doing that we will always receive a commodity-type price for our superior product due to price competition from a host of other countries able to produce beef under more favourable farming conditions. If we want to earn top dollar for our Namibian beef, we simply have to identify, secure and maintain a foothold in those niche markets where better-than-average prices are paid. To be able to do that, you have to have a professional marketing team with intimate knowledge and understanding of those markets.
Valuable lessons learnt from counterparts in UK?
Firstly, there is indeed a market for each and every part of the carcass and that with the right marketing team, all those niche products can be utilized to increase the value of each carcass slaughtered in Namibia. Secondly, that those special niche markets are being identified and served by the Meatco UK team not only all over Europe but also in the rest of the world.
What impressed you most about Meatco’s operations?
Firstly, the energy and enthusiasm with which a rather young Meatco UK marketing and sales team promotes and sells our Namibian beef. Secondly, that every team member has a solid knowledge of the meat industry and that most of them are in fact, trained and qualified butchers!
How would you encourage fellow Meatco producers aspiring to become the Producer of the Year?
We all know that only a small portion of being a successful farmer can be ascribed to your own skills and efforts; by far the greater portion is controlled and determined by the Grace of God. If we acknowledge this and accept that for the rest we must just strive to be good custodians of the land and animals entrusted to us by working hard and doing the basics right, success will follow.