By Confidente Reporter
AS a meat processing and marketing organisation, Meatco serves markets locally and internationally on behalf of Namibian producers.
Being a net exporter of beef means the country produces more beef than is consumed locally; Meatco then seeks the most lucrative markets for Namibian products worldwide.
As the first link between the farmer and the end-consumer, Meatco exports most of the product to international markets, while a smaller portion serves the local market through the MeatMa value-added product range.
“The value of our international markets increased by 29.9 percent, while the volume sold there also increased by 8.5 percent, confirming how important our high-value international markets are to the success of our business,” Cyprianus Khaiseb, executive: marketing and sales, says.
Norway is a very rewarding market for Namibia and the hope is that as many producers as possible will benefit from that market.
Meatco was awarded a total allocation of 1 200 tonnes of the Norwegian beef quota, which translates to 75 percent of the total quota for 2016. At the halfway mark of the year, Meatco has used just over 50 percent of the allocated quota.
According to Khaiseb, international markets (the EU, Norway and UK to mention a few), accounted for 74.07 percent of our sales volume compared to the local (Namibian) market which accounted for 9.91 percent, thus giving us an indication of how high the value of our international markets is.
Despite this, Meatco remains committed to the local market by continuously expanding its product range and reach. This reaffirms Meatco’s ability to supply the local market with a good, affordable source of protein. In conclusion, Khaiseb highlighted that through the MeatMa initiative, Meatco moves closer to the Namibian end-consumer, maximising returns for the producer and corporation, while ensuring that quality and hygiene standards are maintained.
Producers urged to work together in challenging times
Reinie Rusch, who served as Chairman of the Board from 1988 to 2001, shared some words of advice with Meatco members at the recent AGM.
“Meatco was established to cater
for the needs of producers by bringing factories from across the country together as one organisation. A challenge early on was to convince producers to deliver cattle to Meatco to generate a better income for themselves, which is made possible by running the factory at a certain capacity,” Rusch said. He added that one of the core principles was to have every facility that Meatco owned accessible to all producers. During his tenure, Rusch said Meatco became a competitive and successful company thanks to various aspects, including the rationalisation of slaughter capacity by closing the abattoirs in Otavi and Gobabis, and shifting the focus to operations in Windhoek and Oshakati as well as upgrading the remaining capacity based on market requirements. “The Swavleis brand was changed to Meatco to accommodate the European market. As is the case now, seeking niche markets was essential. It was really when we began packaging deboned meat and sending it to Europe that something special began,” Rusch said. Over the years, marketing became more specialised and the business grew, and producers received a higher income from the EU.
In spite of most producers fetching higher prices, Rusch said the NCA was always a grey zone because only two facilities served such a vast area – an area that was prone to a host of challenges, including FMD outbreaks. Thus the Mobile Slaughter Unit is a step in the right direction to address this matter.
In conclusion, Rusch said that to remain successful, both producers and members must reach a common ground so that everyone can reap the benefits.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015