By Hilary Mare
FOLLOWING Meatco being added to the Federal Register on July 13 2016 for approval by the Food Safety and Inspection Services of the United States Department of Agriculture (FSIS-USDA), the Meat Corporation of Namibia now has until September 12 to ensure that all systems are revisited at plant and national level before exports begin.
In relation to this, the parastatal has talked of the emergence of a new niche market and returns maximisation strategy suited for the US beef market.
“This is another niche market that has opened for Meatco, giving us more options to maximise our returns for producers,” says marketing & sales executive, Cyprianus Khaiseb. “The additional market gives Meatco the opportunity to streamline our cuts and make sure we position the right product, in the right market at the right time.” Under the final approval agreements, Meatco will be exporting boneless raw beef products like primal cuts and beef trimmings as well as chuck and blade. “This also means that we can export both chilled and frozen boneless meat (excluding offal) to that country. The strategy for this particular market is to target the fast food industry and franchises like Mc Donalds, to provide maximum returns for Meatco and our producers,” the company said. With this new logistical route, Meatco needs to ensure cost effectiveness and time management at all times. Logistics and freight must be as simple as possible, because it will be of no use if a specific market cannot deliver higher prices/ returns for our products. Meatco has been maintaining and improving its quality, hygiene standards, systems and procedures throughout, in order to access world-class markets like this one.
Namibia’s application to export beef to the United States of America revealed projected exports of up to 860 000 kg (1.9 million pounds) in the first year, increasing to up to 5.7 million kg (12.5 million pounds) in five years.
“Namibia may also receive approval to export other meat products in the future by showing that those products meet other applicable US requirements for those products,” the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed. In the ruling, the US Food Safety and Inspection Service concluded: “That Namibia’s meat inspection system is equivalent to the United States’ inspection system for meat and meat products. Specifically, the decision allows Namibia to export boneless (not ground) raw beef products such as primal cuts, chuck, blade, and beef trimmings from certified establishments to the United States.” Despite objections raised by US individuals and trade organisations during a comment period in late 2015, the US Food Safety and Inspection Service determined that Namibia has the appropriate procedures and measures in place to ensure standards are maintained.
United States beef imports fell one percent in 2007 to 933,330 metric tons (2.05 billion pounds). The top suppliers were Australia (30 percent), Canada (27 percent), New Zealand (17 percent), Uruguay (11.5 percent) and Brazil (7 percent – all prepared/preserved). The United States imported more than 11 percent of its beef consumption in 2007, and more than 12 percent of beef was expected to come from imports in 2008. This change resulted from an expected slight reduction in production, an increase in exports, and a slight increase in beef imports. However, the weak dollar and relatively tight global beef supplies are expected to limit US beef imports this year.
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