Producers to indicate Free-range or Grain-fed animals upon delivery

31 Jul 2020

Meatco has recently amended its Sales Advice to enable producers to indicate clearly whether their livestock were extensively reared as free-range or grain-fed.

Consumers of beef need to make informed decisions when purchasing beef because free-range and grain-fed beef have distinct differences in health benefits, taste and colour expectation.  Therefore, Meatco wants to ensure that Namibian beef is correctly labelled and with integrity.

Meat Board’s Manager Meat Standards, Dr Anja Boshoff-De Witt, urges producers to familiarise themselves with the FAN Meat standards for free-range and grain-fed beef and correctly indicate on the Sales Advice in which category their animals fall.

The Meat Board of Namibia (MBN) recently started doing on-site farm audits to verify production as either free-range or grain-fed and regularly updates Meatco of producer statuses, Boshoff-De Witt says.

Boshoff-De Witt says MBN recommends that producers rearing both free-range and grain-fed beef cattle register them separately on NamLITS to clearly differentiate grain-fed animals. Should producers have a single load of animals containing both free-range and grain-fed, MBN recommends that the grain-fed animals should be clearly identified to allow for separation at the abattoir. Where this is not possible, the whole load will be considered grain-fed.

Free-range means that livestock were reared extensively and did not receive concentrates exceeding 1% of body mass.  The livestock always had free access to the veld.

Grain-fed means livestock were reared intensively or extensively and received concentrates exceeding 1% of body mass.

Below are the examples on the Sales Advice indicating whether an animal is free-range or grain-fed to be slaughtered under the correct slaughter priority:

Free-Range Completion

Grain-Fed Completion