Meatco reflects on challenging year

16 December 2020 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK



It is likely that Meatco will have slaughtered only 39 000 cattle by the end of the 2020/2021 financial year - 66% less than the previous year.

Reflecting on the external challenges of the past year, Meatco board chairman Johnnie Hamman said throughput was one of the biggest challenges the company faced after the drought of last year. During the 2019 financial year, Meatco slaughtered over 116 000 head of cattle as farmers de-stocked because of poor grazing. “We are aware of the challenges of throughput to our export abattoir, stretching from the financial constraints to Meatco as a business to farmers having to restock their herds.”



Initiative

Hamman stressed that Meatco is a strategic organisation which belongs to all farmers, adding that Meatco had to adapt and be creative in engaging with various stakeholders such as farmers and staff members for the export abattoir to survive. “We launched an initiative, known as #Meatco Matuyenene in our quest to boost throughput,” Hamman said. The aim of the initiative is to enable Meatco to purchase all available slaughter cattle that are in a good condition.

Hamman said the board has been hard at work to amicably resolve the challenges that Meatco faces, which directly concerns producers.



Fixed prices

He said the highlights of the year included the fixed forward-pricing contract, which was introduced to offer a secure and more stable price to producers. “Although the international markets are very volatile, we have tried to stabilise the prices. The coronavirus pandemic has created unique challenges in our markers and these challenges have also influenced Meatco.” Hamman further said that the progress made with the United States market early this year was noteworthy. He said the US market finally opened after eight years of negotiating many intricate protocols, and the performance of this market was being monitored. He further said that the board was finalising its 2021-2026 Integrated Strategic Business Plan (ISBP).

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