Namibian beef to hit American markets soon

by Deon Schlechter

Namibian beef to hit American markets soon

Windhoek

Namibia will leave its first footprint among those of the major world-class players in the beef export trade within the next month when official exports of Namibian beef by Meatco to the USA commence.

Manager of corporate affairs at Meatco Rosa Tobias yesterday told New Era that September 12 marked the day of implementation, when Namibia can start exporting meat into the USA market.



“Meatco is looking forward to this exciting milestone that will put Namibia on par with other major world-class players in the beef trade, and Meatco is more than geared up for the task ahead, which should result in the actual exports taking place within the next month,” she noted.

Meatco Namibia joined the application process to export meat into that market in 2002 when the government of Namibia requested approval to export meat (beef) products to the United States.

Namibia stated that – if approved – its immediate intent was to export boneless raw beef products, such as primal cuts, chuck, blade and beef trimming to the United States. Namibia would need to submit additional information for review before FSIS would allow Namibia to export other beef products, e.g. bone-in beef cuts or other types of livestock to the United States.

On July 14, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) added Namibia to the list of countries eligible to export meat and meat products to the United States. Meatco is now busy finalising a few things, such as brand development, packaging and labelling approval.

Namibia is the first African country ever whose sought-after beef qualified for the lucrative export markets of both China and the United States of America. Meatco is also busy finalising the trade licence with the regulatory body in China before exports to that Asian country can commence.

The US Department Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service confirmed the eligibility of Namibia to export meat products to the United States. The Food Safety and Inspection Service of the USA (FSIS) amended the federal meat inspection regulations to add Namibia to the list of countries eligible to export meat and meat products to the United States.

“FSIS has reviewed Namibia’s laws, regulations, and inspection system as implemented, and has determined that they are equivalent to the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA), the regulations implementing this statute, and the United States food safety system for meat and meat products.”

Under this final rule, Namibia will only be able to export to the United States boneless (not ground) raw beef products, such as primal cuts, chuck, blade, and beef trimmings, processed in certified Namibian establishments, because FSIS only assessed Namibia’s meat inspection system with respect to these products, a statement by Dr Daniel Engeljohn, assistant administrator in the Office of Policy and Programme Development of the Food Safety and Inspection Service, confirms.

Namibia intends to export some 1.9 million pounds in the first year (after the rule is finalised) and 12.5 million pounds in the fifth year.

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