Retailers should embrace new dairy import restrictions

05 Nov 2013 15:00pm
WINDHOEK, 05 NOV (NAMPA) - The Dairy Producers’ Association (DPA) has called on local retailers to embrace the new interim quantitative restrictions on the importing of dairy products into Namibia for the benefit of consumers, and ultimately the economy.
DPA chairperson Japie Engelbrecht said in a media statement issued recently that the consumer will eventually benefit from these support measures if dairy importers adhere to the quota application requirements.
“All applications for dairy imports were approved and granted. Hence, should low stock levels be experienced in any retail outlet in Namibia, it should not be attributed to imports that have been restricted, but rather due to failure on the part of the importers to comply with the requirements of permit applications,” he stated.
Cabinet granted approval to the Ministry of Trade and Industry in July this year to proceed instituting interim quantitative restrictions on the importing of dairy products into the country.
The latter came into effect on 16 October 2013.
Members of the dairy sector were required to register for the intended Dairy Market-Share Promotion Scheme.
The aim of the scheme is to promote the local production of dairy products; protect the industry against the importing of low-priced dairy products; and ensure a constant supply of dairy products in the case of disease or shortages in countries Namibia imports from.
As per Government notice, the following restrictions are set: a prescribed limit of 500 000 litres per month for importation into Namibia of milk and cream, not concentrated nor containing added sugar or other sweetening matter; and a prescribed limit of 200 000 litres per month for importation into Namibia of buttermilk, curdled milk and cream, yoghurt, kephir (a fermented milk drink) and other fermented or acidified milk and cream, whether or not concentrated or containing added sugar, or other sweetening matter or flavoured or containing added fruit, nuts or cocoa.
Engelbrecht said the local dairy industry is committed to delivering high-quality dairy products within the strict Namibian production guidelines, which guarantee products which are free of any genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) and synthetic hormones.
“We welcome the government’s price monitoring project as a benchmark to ensure a level playing field for local competition.
In this regard, we undertake to accommodate all necessary measures to develop and enhance the Namibian dairy industry in a sustainable way. This, in turn, is in direct support of the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s Growth-at- Home strategy,” he added.