The fact that bone-in product will be allowed to China as was announced last week by Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry John Mutorwa, is considered a big breakthrough for local meat producers.
The opening of the Chinese market may prove to be a very good alternative if anything should happen to Namibia’s and Meatco’s current export markets.
Minister John Mutorwa said that Namibia and the People’s Republic of China signed a protocol in Beijing on Veterinary Health Conditions and Quarantine for the export of Namibian beef to China.
Neu-Nique Williams, the corporate communications officer at Meatco, yesterday said bone-in forequarter cuts deliver better returns than the current boneless prices they get from South-Africa, thus widening the basket for Meatco’s high-end segment.
“Meatco is excited about the opening of an alternative market, as it brings many additional opportunities for us with regards to the range of products we produce. The export of bone-in meat is of special significance to Namibia. “The opening of the Chinese market must be viewed and appreciated from a market diversification perspective. Access to a sole lucrative market, like the EU remains risky to rely on,” Williams says. “China has allowed [us to export] bone-in product, meaning that we do not need to debone all the meat destined for that market. In our opinion this is a big achievement for Namibia, as well as a vote of confidence in our veterinary authorities and our standards and systems,” she said.
“For well over 15 years Namibia has had a pending application to export bone-in meat to the EU – an application for which we have still not received a positive answer. So the stamp of approval from China goes a long way in terms of marketing our forequarter beef. Eventually this will also assist with our throughput,” she concluded.