The FAN Meat Scheme, which aims to assure the quality and safety of meat to the consumer, was declared a national scheme in September 1999. The scheme gives this assurance by means of prescribed farm management practices, a traceability system in conjunction with NamLITS and lately by means of prescribed transport, auction, feed manufacturer and abattoir standards.
The standards the FAN Meat Scheme prescribes are based on Namibian legislation, therefore, all producers in Namibia have to comply with them. These standards contain and describe the legislation in a nutshell, giving the producer clear guidelines of what must be complied with.
The standards also contain basic principles of animal welfare, veld management and storing of chemicals, making the scheme both attractive and necessary for international trade.
The success of the FAN Meat Scheme is apparent through maintained international markets as well as the recent ISO 9001 certification. This certification is internationally acknowledged and gives the FAN Meat Scheme even more leverage for international trade.
In short: the FAN Meat Logo means that the meat bought by the consumer is healthy and safe and comes from animals that were kept in good conditions, were vaccinated as prescribed by law, were transported in an acceptable manner and were slaughtered humanely.
Why must I register with FAN Meat?
The FAN Meat Scheme promotes the interests of the meat industry and develops market opportunities. Consumers worldwide are asking the question: where does the meat that I buy come from, and how do I know it is safe? The FAN Meat Scheme is an answer to this question, and each producer of livestock in Namibia should aim to participate and comply with this scheme for Namibia to build a good reputation in its international markets. The demand for safe meat of high quality is growing, and Namibia can proudly say that it can supply such a product.
The success and credibility of the scheme relies on the co-operation of all Namibians, and each producer registered and complying with the FAN Meat Scheme is contributing towards the wellbeing of the Namibian livestock industry.
How can I register as a FAN Meat member?
According to the Stock Brands Act of Namibia, every person keeping/owning cattle, MUST register for a stock brand. Once registered for a stock brand, the farmer automatically becomes a FAN Meat member. No extra cost involved!
To maintain FAN Meat membership, one needs to complete and submit an Animal Health Self-declaration form, which is distributed by the Directorate of Veterinary Services twice a year. The Directorate of Veterinary Services also conducts farm inspections and community visits once a year. During these inspections, the inspector will check whether your records, as a farmer, are up to date, whether you vaccinated your cattle as prescribed by law, whether your livestock herd is in good condition, is branded and whether the animals all have ear-tags. The inspector will also check that animal-handling facilities are constructed in such a way that the animals cannot be injured during handling. Non-producer FAN Meat members, (export abattoirs, auctioneers/agents, transporters and feed manufacturers) are inspected by the Meat Board annually. Farm inspections are also conducted annually.
The records that need to be kept as well as the FAN Meat Producer Manual are obtainable from the Stock Brands office at the Meat Board of Namibia.
The future of FAN Meat
The FAN Meat Scheme aims to adopt a farm-to-abattoir approach. Each link in the chain can now register as a FAN Meat member and must comply with basic standards.
It is important to emphasise that these standards are based on legislation and good practices. By adopting a farm-to-abattoir approach, the credibility of the FAN Meat Scheme will improve even more, leading to the goal of marketing the scheme as an international trademark.
Thus, each ear-tag placed, each record completed and kept up to date, each self-declaration submitted and each farm inspection or community visit conducted contributes to the health and development of the Namibian livestock sector, which is our most valuable commodity.