By Francis Mukuzunga WINDHOEK Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Paul Smit, says Namibian farmers and those in the industry should embrace opportunities endowed upon them and work together for the good of the country. Smit was addressing guests at the 60th Anniversary of Hartleif Meat products in Windhoek on Tuesday. Hartleif is one of Namibia’s biggest meat-processing companies that generating income through supply for local and export markets. He urged other companies to follow Hartlief’s example of phenomenal growth through its branded products in other countries. “The cattle industry remains our largest business, our largest market being South Africa, but we need to hold the European market. The challenge is to increase our production, but there are economic challenges facing us,” he said. He told the guests that while Namibia enjoys peace, political stability and prosperity, there was need for agriculture, particularly the meat sector, to take responsibility for their businesses and to view them as part of the whole national economy. “We can only trade with our natural resources if we are in control of them. When we enter other markets elsewhere we have to compete with other products from elsewhere, and this is where branding is important,” Smit said, adding that it is important to make sure that the small farmer also gets the opportunity to play a role in the economy of the country. Hartleif was formed in Namibia in 1946 when Karl Hartleif opened his butchery in Windhoek. From 1970 onwards, Wolfgang and Renate Raith expanded the business to include a meat-processing wing. The business grew so fast that by 1983 a new meat-processing factory fitted with state-of-the art equipment was established. In August last year, the Hartleif and farmers Meat market group of companies announced their merger and are now trading as Farmers Hartleif Consolidated Meats Limited, thereafter assuming a new look and branding. “Hartleif introduced its spectacular new look during February 2006. A whole new packaging for the entire processed meat was designed,” said Wolfgang Raith at the function. Hartleif is known for its comprehensive variety of high-quality meat products, ranging from fresh to cold and dried meats. The products are naturally matured, still using traditional methods combined with modern technology. The products come in two main categories, being the smoked/fermented range and the snack range. The smoked/fermented range comprises salamis, black forest ham and smoked beef, whilst the cooked products consist of cold meats and sausages. Hartleif also produces a snack range of biltong, droewors, salaminis, smokies and snack bites, and larger packs for the catering industry.