Meatco held its 32nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 22 June 2018 at the Wanderers Sports Club in Windhoek. One hundred and eighteen members gathered at the meeting to deliberate issues and strategies that will shape Meatco’s future, and to review its 2017/2018 financial performance.
In his keynote speech which was read by the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Esther Kaapanda, Minister Alpheus !Naruseb encouraged members to discuss strategic issues that would impact their business in a positive manner such as the Growth at Home Strategy, increased value addition, and income generation for the country.
Meatco Board Chairperson, Dr. Martha Namundjembo-Tilahun, highlighted that the country is facing tough economic times which includes drought and a decline in cattle numbers available for slaughter.
She urged Meatco members to ponder about the sustainability of the meat industry in Namibia. “The country’s meat industry is under immense pressure and is facing serious challenges which include, amongst others, its sustainability,” Dr. Namundjembo-Tilahun said.
She said the ever-growing trend of exporting livestock on the hoof, which saw a total of 315,198 cattle in 2017 leaving the country compared to 164,220 in 2016, is worrisome as it negatively impacts on the availability of livestock for throughput at local abattoirs.
“If this situation continues, it will further deepen the triple threats of unemployment, poverty, and inequality in the country.”
Dr. Namundjembo-Tilahun also emphasized that the Meatco Board has an obligation to exercise its mandate in line with the requirements as set forth in the Meatco Act, which is to strategically guide the corporation and to protect the nation’s and producers’ interest by ensuring transparency, good governance, and sound technical decisions.
Acting Chief Executive Officer, Jannie Breytenbach, reported that 81,984 animals were slaughtered during the year under review.
About 38.59% of those animals were from commercial producers and the rest, 61.41%, came through the Meatco feedlot and backwards integration systems, creating a backlog of Meatco cash-flow cycles.
Other issues covered by the Acting Chief Executive Officer were:
•The Meatco Group recorded revenue of N$1.425 billion during the year under review.
•The net loss for the year amounted to N$51.2 million.
•Revenue decreased by 15.91% year-on-year mainly due to the lower number of cattle slaughtered (10.45%) and the strengthening of the Namibia dollar against major foreign currencies.
• Meatco paid N$899.852 million to producers, which is 20.04% more than the previous year’s figure of N$749.617 million.
Members at the AGM also discussed the issue of the legality of the Board. The meeting felt that eligible members were not given the right to choose the current Board; however, no further discussion took place as the matter was said to be sub-judice since it still in court.
Finally, members urged the current Board to implement actionable strategies that can restore producers’ trust.
Please click on links below to access speeches