Our Agro-processing Operations consist of different sections where animals are slaughtered and processed into meat products. Employees are assigned to specific workstations and the carcasses move on a conveyor system from station to station until the slaughter and processing process is completed.
Meatco owns two abattoirs one in Windhoek and the other in Okahandja we are currently only operating the Windhoek Abattoir due to the dewindled cattle numbers over the years. Meatco also has a Feedlot, Tannery and Cannery. Our abattoirs can each produce about 27,000 tonnes of beef annually. We have just over 750 employees, which makes us one of the biggest employers in Namibia. It also means we have a responsibility to ensure our labour practices are fair and equitable. We benchmark our labour and ethical practices and continuously invest in our staff training and development to ensure we remain competitive against the best in the world.
Through the Northern Communal Area Subsidiary (Pty) Ltd Meatco is currently operating the Katima Mulilo Abattor which is owned by the Government of Namibia and we await for the completion of the Rundu Abattoir to operate. The abattoirs are located within an area known as the Northern Communal Area (NCA), an area where traditional cattle rearing is more prevalent than commercial farming practices. Meatco also serves farmers in the NCA through our Mobile Slaughter Abattoir stationed at the Matumbo Ribebe Quarantine Camp situated 50 kilometers west of Rundu since 2016, bringing services closer to the producers.
Our strategic intent is to ensure that our operations are affordable, flexible, effective and scalable. This means our focus is on ensuring the correct size capacity for optimum flexibility, improving in labour productivity, conforming to quality and food safety standards, improving efficiencies and managing of costs, and compliance with occupational health and safety standards.
While ensuring that Meatco is capable of meeting the demands of current and future markets, our processing operations also maintain continuous compliance with international quality standards and export requirements.
Similarly, we are always on the path to continuously improve our production practices. At Meatco, processing takes place under very strict food quality and hygiene practices. All of our abattoirs, including the ones in the NCA, are ISO- and HACCP-certified.
The Windhoek which is currently operational and the Okahandja Abattoir also have EU export status and is subject to regular inspections by the European Union and various other third parties, including SAI Global, SGS, Grolink and a number of our global clients. Both export abattoirs are also certified by the British Retail Consortium (BRC), which certifies food safety and quality systems and scrutinises ethical and fair practices, animal welfare and corporate social responsibility.
We are experts at managing and maintaining the cold chain throughout our entire processing process and the traceability systems we have in place ensure that one can track Meatco’s product from the fork all the way back to the farm of origin.
We regularly benchmark ourselves against the best in the world and keep raising the bar to ensure that we are amongst the best meat processors globally. Being a factory in Africa where unemployment is high, employement plays an integral role in our operations. Therefore, when we look at improving the technology of our business, we don’t look for technology to replace people, but rather to supplement them and increase our capacity to deliver more products.