Meatco's exports to new markets - current status
08 Jul 2016
Meatco has finally received approval from China to start beef exports to that country, following negotiations on the types of meat that can be exported, market trends and the storage requirement for shipping to Asia. The ball is now in Meatco’s court in terms of when and how much Namibian beef will be exported to China.
In January 2016, the Certification and Accreditation Administration (CNCA) of the People’s Republic of China visited Meatco to conduct an audit on the facilities and to collect documentation for the possible export of Meatco products to the Asian market.
According to Marketing & Sales Executive Cyprianus Khaiseb, Meatco is busy sorting out the trading licence with AQSIQ – the regulatory body that is responsible for providing the import licence. “We believe this is the last step in the process before export can start,” Khaiseb says.
It is necessary to go through the administrative processes before final approval is rubber stamped for Meatco, Khaiseb adds.
Operationally Meatco and the Directorate of Veterinary Services (DVS) at plant and national level are dealing with protocol in terms of regulations and specifications for export. Some of the concerns being ironed out relate to the 60 days requirement for cattle before slaughter and how this will be handled throughout the process, the labelling of products and certification by DVS.
Meatco is hopeful that meat exports to the lucrative Chinese market, with a beef consumption of more than 9 million tonnes annually, will go ahead as planned. Once approval is granted, Namibia will be the first country in Africa to qualify for beef-in-bone exports to China.
Meatco intends to request that government renegotiate with China to add vacuum-packed fresh beef to the product list. Vacuum-packed chilled beef and offal are sought-after products in the Chinese market, fetching premium prices.
“The Asian market gives Namibia in general and Meatco in particular the choice of another valuable market. An added bonus for Meatco is the placement of our products in a niche market during certain times of the year so we can achieve the best prices possible for Meatco and our producers,” Khaiseb says.
Among the requirements to export beef to foreign markets like China, is that all animals must be slaughtered at an abattoir that is approved by DVS. Also, beef must be sourced from a zone free of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) south of the Veterinary Cordon Fence and where vaccination is not practiced. Animals should also have lived on the farm for at least 60 days before slaughter and must have been vaccinated against anthrax.