Namibia’s Red Meat Industry: Opportunities and Challenges

09 Oct 2020

TEN key trends will define the face of the Namibian red meat industry over the next five years, bringing both opportunities and challenges.


1. Sustainability demands increase

Increasingly, agrifood businesses at every level of the supply chain will be required to demonstrate and provide evidence of their sustainability credentials.


2. Provenance becomes more relevant

Consumers and customers now want to know where their food comes from and the story behind it. This includes where the food was grown, how it was grown, and where and how it was processed.


3. Social licence is required to operate

Agrifood businesses and industries now need the blessing of the public to operate. Social media and the hyper-connectivity that it enables, provide individuals with a powerful tool to voice their concerns.


4. Shift from commodities to brands

The consumer and customers’ desire to be informed about food provenance has provided meat processors the opportunity to develop brands to target specific market segments with tailored value propositions.


5. Increase in market emphasis to global

There is now a greater emphasis on exports. The switch is being driven by declining per capita consumption of red meat in domestic markets; and a growing demand for Namibian meat from oversea.


6. Supply chains become more integrated

The Namibian red meat industry is moving progressively to vertically integrated supply chains, facilitated either through equity ownership or strategic trading alliances such as closed-loop supply chains or branding agreements.


7.  Viability of the family farm model declines

The bulk of red meat supply has traditionally come from a vast number of small family farms. There are increasing threats to the viability of these family farms, many of which are only marginally profitable due to their lack of scale, high levels of capitalisation and debt, reluctance to embrace new ideas to improve productivity and rising land prices.


8. Corporatisation and foreign investment increase

In contrast to the declining small-scale family farm model, is a trend towards farm corporatisation. Corporatisation is being driven by investment from superannuation schemes and high net worth individuals who see an opportunity in agriculture.


9. Market access tactics change

Recently negotiated free trade areas are likely to shift the market access agenda. While, officially, trade appears to be opening, this is being countered with increased technical trade barriers.


10. Power of technology and big data grows

Rapidly evolving digital technology provides unlimited opportunities for data mining beyond seamless supply chain traceability.