Business as usual for Witvlei Meat

05 Dec 2014 16:00pm
WINDHOEK, 05 DEC (NAMPA) – It is business as usual for Witvlei Meat, and the company will continue to export meat to the Norwegian market.
They were granted a quota on Monday by the Ministry of Trade and Industry of 350 metric tonnes of beef to export to Norway next year - 50 metric tonnes more than the current quota.
The Meat Corporation of Namibia (Meatco) received a total of 1 250 tonnes out of the total of 1 600 metric tonnes.
The allocation is based on a bidding process.
Witvlei board chairperson Sydney Martin told Nampa on Thursday that the company will continue with its operations, despite that the allocation of the quota is far less than what Government has promised to give his company.
“This is totally unfair – the allocation is far less than what government promised us. Government made numerous promises to assist Witvlei, but the (line) minister is now promoting a company that must monopolise the industry,” he noted.
Trade and Industry Minister Calle Schlettwein was not available for comment as he is attending a meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and would only be back over the weekend.
Meanwhile, Witvlei threated last month that it would close and lay off workers if it does not receive a favourable quota allocation.
Local media reported that Witvlei Meat had temporarily closed its doors as it waits to see if the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) will reinstate its 50 per cent Norwegian beef export quota.
Meatco’s Manager Communications and Marketing Mario Poolman said in a media statement issued last month that it has been proven without a doubt that the equitable distribution of the Norway quota benefits the majority of cattle producers and the Namibian economy as a whole.
“Witvlei’s threats were baseless,” he said, adding that it is a well-known strategy of Witvlei’s management to use their employees to garner sympathy and support for an inequitably distributed Norway quota to benefit a privileged few.
Meatco vowed to operate the slaughter facility at Witvlei and guaranteed the security of all the employees there, but however reserved the right not to retain its management.
In the current export quota, Witvlei Meat received 300 tonnes, Brukkaros Meat Processors 100 tonnes and Meatco 1 200 tonnes.