LPO concerned about Meatco retrenchments

14 April 2021 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT



WINDHOEK

The Livestock Producers Organisation (LPO) of Namibia says while it supports Meatco’s realignment, it will urgently seek a meeting with the company’s board to determine which processes were followed.

Meatco recently announced that employees who are 55 and older, and in particular 60 years and older, will part ways with the organisation as part of rightsizing the business.

To ensure that the business remains competitive, sustainable and profitable, it crafted a leaner, agile and dynamic structure to make it more robust in the ambiguous global environment, Meatco said.

LPO chairman Martinus Pretorius said the organisation is concerned about the strategic principles applied in deciding that age should be the only criteria for retrenchment and realignment.

“Any business is as good as its intellectual capital, experience and skills. It is international business practice to first determine what core expertise and experience should be retained before embarking on a retrenchment process.”

Retaining intellectual capital

Pretorius further said the critical success factors to make any business internationally competitive must be linked to retaining this intellectual capital.

He said the implication of Meatco’s realignment decision is that the majority of the executive management will be retrenched, which poses a major risk to the company’s sustainability.

“It is critically important to maintain the confidence of primary product suppliers, customers and financiers and the above actions taken have the potential to inflict unpredictable damage to business confidence in Meatco.”

Pretorius said Namibian beef exports form a critical pillar of the cattle industry and the international competitiveness of Meatco remains non-negotiable to ensure that primary cattle production can grow sustainably.

“The LPO has, for some time, been highlighting the uncompetitive cost structure of Meatco, urging that a total realignment of the corporation's business plan is needed. The decision of the board of directors to realign the corporation is therefore supported by the LPO.”