Meatco’s beef exports for the 2015/16 financial year amounts to N$1,285 billion.
This is a direct contribution by beef producers to the corporation’s export earnings, says the company’s acting chief financial officer Bernard Zulch.
In this financial year, Meatco increased its overall producer price of dressed weight by N$0.15 per kg in comparison to the previous year.
The average producer price for 2015/16 amounted to N$29.98 per kg compared to N$29.83 per kg for the corresponding period during the 2014/15 financial year.
This resulted in total payments to our producers amounting to N$849 483 330, representing 62.35 percent of the country’s beef revenue.
Prices were not only driven by market trends in southern Africa. The total premiums paid by Meatco over and above the South African price amounted to more than N$61 million. This represents N$2.27 per kg, with the majority of the premiums going to farmers producing B-and C-grade cattle (N$3.21 and N$1.93 respectively).
By contributing to the economy, the agricultural sector not only generates employment for farm workers, but also for employees of institutions like Meatco and other industries in the supply chain.
The growth of the sector is of importance to the country in terms of skills development for emerging farmers, and increased output for all producers. However, this relies heavily on all farmers, especially those in communal areas, consistently striving towards improving the quality of their livestock.
Farming, and specifically beef production, is an important and strategic part of Namibia’s agricultural industry. The industry creates an income for farmers when they sell their animals to abattoirs, while creating export earnings for the country through the sale of meat products to Europe and other markets.
Given the significant contribution the agricultural sector plays in the economic prosperity of advanced countries, its role in the economic progress of less developed countries is of vital importance.
Importance of quotas to Meatco
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 and Meatco tends to seek out 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,” says Meatco executive for marketing and sales Cyprianus Khaiseb.
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, Meatco’s international markets (the EU, Norway and UK), accounted for 74.07 percent of the company’s sales volume compared to the local market, which accounted for 9.91 percent, thus giving a clear indication of how important the international markets is to local beef producers.
In conclusion, Khaiseb highlighted that through the MeatMa initiative, the company moves closer to the Namibian end-consumer, maximising returns for the producer and corporation, while ensuring that quality and hygiene standards are maintained.