Norway, as a country, still largely depends on its oil sector, although industry diversifications are underway, with the salmon farming industry expected to continue growing by two digits annually.
Additionally, the gap between consumption and/production of beef is projected to narrow this year. This would from two options, namely, the reduction in domestic beef production and import quotas.
Another important aspect prioritised in the Norwegian market is healthy and safe food. Healthy and safe food encompasses all the factors that are significant for societies and consumers to have confidence in the country’s meat products. This means that any mistake, which causes the market or consumers to respond aggressively, would be detrimental.
Below are the priority areas and the work processes used to ensure that systems work:
· Public health
· Animal welfare ‑ consumers are becoming very critical of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in meat substances. So, international markets are paying particular attention to it and Norway has zero-tolerance to GMOs.
· Animal health
· The environment
· Risk analyses
· Quality assurance
· Independent audits
· Emergency preparedness
Norway records the lowest use of antibiotics in European animals. The Southern African Customs Union (SACU) gets a total quota allocation of 3 700 tonnes. Namibia and Botswana got 1 600 tonnes each from the SACU allocation, while Eswatini received 500 tonnes. Norway’s annual export value in the Namibian economy is approximately N$310 million, according to 2017 statistics.
Furthermore, Norway has a 54% of tariff-free quota and consumes 5% of beef from southern Africa. Norwegians also consume 17% of steak/fillets from the region.
In addition, exports to Norway constitute more than 20% of Meatco’s turnover. It is, therefore, evident that Norway is a significant market for the Namibian meat industry.
The activities of Global Protein Solutions (GPS), besides being Meatco’s successful trading arm, entail promoting and defending SACU quotas in Norway, reviewing the SACU-European Free Trade Association as well as ensuring the safe migration of the entire GPS-quota to FTA-quota with the current allocated Norwegian quota not including the entire quota. This might also include a possible quota enlargement, duty-free access to the World Trade Organisation quotas such as that of the Mercosur countries and public promotion of Meatco’s beef.