China approves Meatco's beef exports

12 Jul 2016 18:20pm
WINDHOEK, 12 JUL (NAMPA) - The Meat Corporation of Namibia (Meatco) is in the process to finalise the trading licence with the regulatory body in China before beef exports can commence to that Asian country.
Namibia will be the first African country to qualify for beef-in-bone exports to China.
Meatco’s Marketing and Sales Executive Cyprianus Khaiseb revealed on the company’s website last week the company has finally received approval from China to start beef exports to that country, following negotiations on the types of meat that can be exported, market trends and the storage requirement for shipping to Asia.
“Meatco is busy sorting out the trading licence with AQSIQ – the regulatory body that is responsible for providing the import licence. The ball is now in Meatco’s court in terms of when and how much Namibian beef will be exported to China,” he remarked.
The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China (AQSIQ) is responsible to issue the trading license.
In January 2016, the Certification and Accreditation Administration (CNCA) of the People’s Republic of China visited Meatco to conduct an audit on the facilities and to collect documentation for the possible export of Meatco products to that market.
Khaiseb said some of the concerns being ironed out relate to the 60-day requirement for cattle before slaughter and how this will be handled throughout the process, the labelling of products and certification by the Directorate of Veterinary Services in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry.
China requires that animals should have lived on the farm for at least 60 days before slaughter and must have been vaccinated against anthrax.
Khaiseb said Meatco is optimistic that meat exports to the lucrative Chinese market, with a beef consumption of more than 9 million tonnes annually, will go ahead as planned.
The company is also now in the process to request the Chinese Government to renegotiate to add vacuum-packed fresh beef to the product list. Vacuum-packed chilled beef and offal are sought-after products in the Chinese market, fetching premium prices, according to Khaiseb.
He said the Asian market gives Namibia in general and Meatco in particular the choice of another valuable market. An added bonus for the company is the placement of its products in a niche market during certain times of the year so that it can achieve best prices possible for Meatco and producers.
“We believe this is the last step in the process before export can start. It is necessary to go through the administrative processes before final approval is rubber stamped for Meatco,” added Khaiseb.