Meatco eyeing Asia, creating footprint in continental Europe
The distribution of meat products by Namibia’s prime meat producer Meatco is fast changing concentration, with more products now going to continental Europe and Scandinavia and less to the United Kingdom.
Meatco shares the European Union (EU) quota with Witvlei Meat, formerly known as the !Uri !Khubis Abbatoir. Meatco expects to export about 10 000 tonnes of meat to the European Union this year. Meatco’s Chief Executive Officer Kobus du Plessis says the corporation will continue to unlock other markets where the company can export mostly deboned products. Products such as mince remain popular in Meatco’s traditional markets such as South Africa, while the company will look into opportunities to export lamb and mutton to Norway and the United Kingdom.
“We are refurbishing our factories closer to Windhoek and once the plant is EU approved we will surely look into expanding in those markets,” Du Plessis says. Du Plessis said that with China, Russia and Korea already being big importers of beef, Meatco will look at capitalising on Iran’s interest. Inspectors from the Middle East Islamic country are expected to visit Namibia to inspect Meatco facilities, an exercise that will eventually pave the way for negotiations on the export of beef there.
Du Plessis further says that Meatco will further look into the export of game to the EU, especially to Norway, Germany and the United Kingdom. Although Meatco recorded losses of over N$60 million over the past financial year, mainly due to the exchange rate, the company said that market performance and efficiency improvements have significantly improved the corporation finances.
“We continue with our customer/market-centric strategies in the high value markets as well as penetrating new high value markets in Russia, Iran and others,” says Du Plessis. Meatco is further getting unfair competition from South African feedlots that accelerate growth with hormones and growth stimulants, which the corporation think that it should be addressed on the national level.