…Board moots retrenchments in re-alignment strategy
By Hilary Mare
FOR the 2017/18 financial year, the Meat Corporation of Namibia (Meatco) suffered a 15, 9 percent revenue decline, leading to an operating loss of N$20, 1 million, and a loss for the year of N$42, 9 million, Confidente understands.
The revenue decline and subsequent loss has been attributed to a decrease in slaughtered animals with throughput of cattle supply in the areas south of the veterinary cordon fence (VCF) decreasing to 81 984 from 91 557 cattle.
Cattle supply in the areas north of the veterinary cordon fence only increased to 896 from 755 in the previous financial year.
Confidente understands that at the 32nd annual general meeting of Meatco held on Friday, the producers raised a motion on the legality of the Board with one of the producers highlighting that the fact they had not been afforded an opportunity to nominate Board members had discouraged others not to bring their produce to Meatco abattoirs.
However, no further discussion took place as the matter was said to be sub-judice, since it still in court.
At the same meeting, Board Chairperson, Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun told delegates inclusive of producers that the company needs urgent transformation which is only possible if more collaborative efforts were to be made.
“The time for pointing fingers has sailed. It is indeed in the best interests of all parties to bring forth deliberations that add value as it affects the lives of producers, our staff and the survival of our people who depend on the slaughter industry,” she said.
Namundjebo-Tilahun further stated that over that last few years, the company had reviewed its strategy and taken tough decisions to close down but certain abattoirs but this time it was faced with tough decision on cutting down human capital.
“Unfortunately, today we are now faced with a disheartening challenge of having to realign the business specifically in terms of human capital which requires us to downsize, which was not an easy decision considering the economic climate we are in. However, in order for the business to survive, we have to take tough decisions,” she added.
In his keynote speech which was read by the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Esther Kaapanda, Minister Alpheus !Naruseb noted that there was need for members of Meatco to continue supporting the corporation and thereby contribute towards the value addition to raw materials in the livestock sub-sector, for the benefit of all Namibians.
Notably in the year under review, the corporation paid 53.2 per cent of its beef revenue to its producers.
“Regarding producer price, 2017/18 was particularly a good year for producers as the prices paid by Meatco have been substantially higher than ever before in the corporation’s history. The average producer price of N$37.64/kg was 10.5 percent higher than the previous reporting period (2016/17: N$34.06/kg) and 4.9 percent higher than the South African parity price. A total of N$749.617 million (2016/17: N$899.852 million), representing 53.21 per cent of Meatco’s revenue of N$1, 409 million, was paid out to producers.
“The downside of such high producer prices was that any farmer who wanted to restock after the previous season’s drought, couldn’t do so because the prices were too high,” Ingo Schneider, the acting Chief Executive Officer said.
Meatco was able to fulfil its allocated quota of 1,400 tonnes, proving to the Norwegian and Namibian Governments that it has the capacity to supply high quality meat products to this high-value export market, thus maximising yields for its producers.
The 2017/18 reporting year also concluded the execution of Meatco’s five-year strategic plan, which ran from 2013/14 to 2017/18.
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