China has lucrative meat market: Meatco

20 Aug 2015 19:00pm
WINDHOEK, 20 AUG (NAMPA) – The exportation of bone-in beef to China brings additional benefits for Namibia as it opened an alternative and lucrative market for local meat producers, says the Meat Corporation of Namibia (Meatco).
In its latest newsletter issued on Tuesday, the company commended Government for the move, noting that access to a sole lucrative market like the European Union (EU) remains risky to rely on.
“We are 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 Chinese market is a very good alternative should anything happen to our current markets,” it stated.
The governments of Namibia and China signed a protocol on veterinary health conditions and quarantine on 03 August 2015 in Beijing, China. For the purposes of the protocol, beef means the frozen deboned and bone-in meat, excluding head, feet, offal and viscera, and other by-products. The cattle should be born and reared in the Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD)-free zone of Namibia.
Bone-in forequarter cuts deliver better returns than the current boneless prices from South Africa, thus widening the basket for the high-end segment, according to the company.
China has allowed bone-in meat, which means that Namibia does not need to debone all the products 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. 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,” it added.
The cattle for export purposes should comply with the following: the farm has not introduced any cloven-hooved animal from the region other than FMD-free zone of Namibia where vaccination is not practiced during the past 12 months; animals shall be resident on the farm for at least 60 days prior to slaughter; animals were vaccinated against Anthrax; animals have never been fed with any materials originating from ruminant, except milk, and never used veterinary medicine and feed additives prohibited by China or Namibia.
Currently, Namibia exports 17 000 metric tonnes of meat products to South Africa per annum; about 10 000 metric tonnes to the European Union (EU); and about 1 850 to Norwegian markets.