Meatco re-invent its operations

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WINDHOEK – Meatco has implemented a new approach aimed at value addition within the cattle production value chain, to benefit producers and to create a dialogue to address the declining number of cattle in the industry at policy level. 

The approach is also aimed at reaching out to both communal and commercial cattle producers, helping them run successful farming operations. “This is meant to transform Meatco into a more competitive and consumer-oriented business,” says Heiner Böhme, Meatco’s Executive for Procurement. The new approach, called livestock procurement approach, looks t the feedlot, special projects, as well as Meatco’s procurement strategy. Meatco wants to adopt this policy because although Namibian producers yield a large number of weaners, the declining number of slaughter oxen can be ascribed to many factors that the company does not have control over. The alternative for Meatco is to start looking at weaners exported out of the country and to “intercept these animals before they cross the border so that we can add value, by binding them to the company earlier in the production chain,” the company said. Meatco also wants to increase capacity at the Okapuka Feedlot. “In the past, we slaughtered between 18 000 and 20 000 cattle. This year we plan to slaughter about 28 000 cattle out of our feedlot.

These are animals that we will have secured and thus belong to us as a company,” Böhme says. Meatco is also looking at introducing the ‘Meatco-owned Cattle’  principle that would concentrate on securing cattle through binding contracts that will be entered into with producers, and is dedicated to adding value earlier on in the chain. Currently Meatco has a profit share principle for the intensive rearing system in semi-intensive and extensive field conditions and the ‘Contract Feeding’ for the intensive rearing system of cattle in feedlots. Both contracts are aimed at assisting producers in managing their farming operations more successfully, while reaping the benefits of their hard work through surplus payouts. The new initiative would have Meatco more involved in the market in a broader spectrum, as the corporation will no longer only be in the slaughter business but will be able to do more within the cattle industry, like hosting permit days for communal producers and buying on the hoof at auctions.

The procurement strategy would focus on supporting Meatco’s backbone producers through excellent service delivery and channelling more benefits to them. “With this strategy, the corporation will focus more on the acquisition of veldt/slaughter cattle. Böhme says this is the difference between the procurement strategy and the other initiatives, which focus more on the cattle that Meatco buys, like weaners. “The new approach is also accompanied by a newly re-aligned procurement structure to implement all these strategies,” the company said.



By Staff Reporter