• April 5th, 2020

Local beef finally hits US market

Namibia will once again make history by becoming the first African country to export beef to the lucrative United States market. 

The first consignment is due to leave the country today. Meatco spokesperson Jethro Kwenani yesterday invited journalists to witness the exportation of the first shipment destined for the US market. 

The country’s projected volumes to the US are expected to start at about 862 metric tonnes, increasing to about 5 670 metric tonnes by 2021, according to previous estimates. According to information at hand, Meatco intends to market boneless raw beef products such as primal cuts, chuck-and-blade and beef trimming to big clients such as Whole Foods Market and McDonalds. Whole Foods Market is a Fortune 500 American supermarket chain that specialises in natural and organic food. 

It has 473 stores in North America and the United Kingdom. McDonalds is one of the largest and well-known American fast food company in the world that was founded in 1940 by Richard and Maurice McDonald, in San Bernardino, California. The restaurant chain serves over 69 million customers daily in over 100 countries across approximately 36 900 outlets as of 2016. 

Namibia was granted access to the American market in 2016. In 2017, Meatco underwent a public health and assurance audit by the US via the Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS) and it was found to be fully compliant. The audit, which is conducted every 18 months or two years, was carried out to verify whether Namibia remains in compliance with maintaining the required standards. 
To date, only 33 countries worldwide have been approved to export meat to the US.  

The breakthrough for Namibian beef to the US comes after the United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) initially opposed Namibian beef on the grounds of the potential risk of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) spreading to that country’s livestock market as a result of Namibia’s proximity to FMD-affected countries Angola, Zambia and Botswana. 

Only South Africa and southern Botswana have been classified as FMD free without vaccination. Meanwhile, Namibia last year became the first African country to export beef to the People’s Republic of China, when it transported the first 21 tons of beef to that country in March.
– ktjitemisa@nepc.com.na

Kuzeeko Tjitemisa
2020-02-19 07:34:04 | 1 months ago

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