Beef export to China in final stages

22 Jan 2016 16:50pm
WINDHOEK, 22 JAN (NAMPA) – A Chinese delegation will arrive here on Friday to finalise the export of Namibian beef to that market.
Namibia is the first African country to export bone-in beef to China. The two countries 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, viscera and other by-products.
Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF), Tina Shilongo told Nampa on Friday the delegation will visit the Meat Corporation of Namibia (Meatco), abattoirs, farmers and the ministry.
“They are coming to do the last final arrangements,” an optimistic Shilongo said.
She boasted that the export of beef to China will become a reality soon.
The delegation is expected to leave Namibia before the end of next week.
Three local companies that were waiting for approval for beef exports to China included the Meat Corporation of Namibia (Meatco), Witvlei Meat, and Brukkaros Meat Processors (BMP).
Announcing the deal during a media briefing in August last year, the Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, John Mutorwa emphasised that the cattle should be born and reared in the foot-and-mouth-disease (FMD)-free zone of Namibia and the Chinese market is open for any livestock farming Namibian.
“I want to stress that this new China market is open for all Namibians who wish to export beef to China and not for certain companies or individuals only.
“The government did not negotiate this market for a specific group of people or companies,” he stated.
“Government shall continue to create the necessary conducive business environment for all local entrepreneurs and business people to take advantage of such opportunities, as long as they agree and conform so that the export requirements of China are scrupulously complied with to the letter and spirit of the signed protocol,” Mutorwa said.
The Chinese market, as opposed to the European Union (EU), Swiss and Norwegian markets, will allow for the import of bone-in beef, provided that the animals are slaughtered and the beef is processed and certified at an export-approved slaughterhouse or abattoir by the DVS in the line ministry.
Namibia and China signed a protocol consisting of 18 Articles that prospected companies should comply to. This include amongst others: the farm has not introduced any cloven-hooved animal from a region other than the 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 tonnes of meat products to South Africa per annum; about 10 000 tonnes to the European Union (EU); and about 1 850 to Norwegian markets.
Namibia’s major exports to China include fish and horticultural products while the Chinese ship skills, clothing wear, consumables and machinery into Namibia.