Meatco trims staff by 285

31 October 2018 | Agriculture

Meatco has realised annual savings of N$40 million by reducing its staff from 989 to 704 through its just-ended early voluntary retirement and retrenchment exercise.

Meatco says it adopted its turnaround strategy in June, and has been paying competitive prices for livestock since 5 March.

It says it marketed a total of 484 921 cattle last year, which is an increase of 65% compared to 2016.

In 2016 Meatco only marketed 293 250 cattle.

According to the meat producer, of the total cattle marketed last year, 315 198 were live exports while 82 437 came from export abattoirs and 87 286 from local abattoirs.

This information was shared during a special members' meeting held by the Meatco board last week. The aim of the meeting was to provide feedback on its turnaround strategy to members, as per the resolutions adopted at the Meatco AGM. Meatco acting CEO Jannie Breytenbach informed the members that globally there are about 1 billion cattle and Meatco contributes about 0.00023% to the global beef industry.

It said its global market access continues to be successful, to date, and one sample container was sent to the United States market, targeting what it referred to as the 'NeverEver Consumer'. These are consumers in the US who don't believe in consuming meat products in which growth hormones were used.

Meatco said further discussions are ongoing to enable it to establish outlets for all types and ages of cattle.

“Relationship-building mechanisms such as the feedback sessions to members are also ongoing and nominations for the commercial group have taken place.

“The board strongly believes the company, as per their vision, can still be the preferred marketing channel for Namibian livestock farmers and promote the most sought-after meat brands in the long-term interest of our stakeholders,” Meatco said.

The second part of the special members meeting saw four commercial farmers being nominated for consideration by agriculture minister Alpheus !Naruseb to be appointed to the board to represent commercial farmers.

The four nominated members are Dr Charl-Thom Bayer, Heiko Rainer Binding, Wilfried Pack and Kay-Dieter Rumpf.

Rumpf received an overwhelming number of nominee votes from the farmers.

He was the former Southern African Livestock Value Chain Forum chairperson, under the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions, for three years.

ELLANIE SMIT

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