MEATCO is the only African country to have branded premium beef products on the shelves of international retailers, the corporation’s chairperson Clara Bohitile said at Producer of the Year gala dinner last Friday.
Meatco’s annual producer of the year awards is an evening that recognises the finest cattle producers in Namibia.
“It is extraordinary that a small country like Namibia can become a world class player in the global red meat industry,” Bohitile said.
Her words were echoed by the evening’s guest speaker Frederico Ferrannini Fick, head buyer of NorgesGruppen, one of Norway’s biggest retailers and a Meatco client.“Meatco is the only supplier from Africa supplying processed [value-added] product to NorgesGruppen,” Fick said.
“Even the labeling on the packaging of the product we buy from Meatco is in Norwegian” he said.
Norway intends to host its next sales meeting in Namibia in 2013, so that the NorgesGruppen sales team can sell the Namibian story and Meatco’s product from first-hand experience, Fick said. “It is a significant investment, but we believe in Meatco’s brand, Natures Reserve, so much that we think it’s worth it.”
NorgesGruppen, the sixth largest company in Norway, holds 37,4% of the grocery market, 45% of the food service market and 70% of the ship chandler market in the country. In order to become a supplier to NorgesGruppen, processing of product is only one part of the equation, Fick said.
“To even be considered to be a supplier to NorgesGruppen, a company needs to take quality, ethics and the environment very seriously,” he said complimenting Natures Reserve for bringing these aspects together with quality product into one brand.
Bohitile said delivering a product with unwavering ethics, the finest quality, consistency and reliability of supply is not always easy, but in doing so, allows Meatco to pay the best possible prices to its producers. “It has only been through the support of our producers that we have been able to achieve these successes,” she said.
“It is therefore important that a conducive environment is created to allow this business, and the industry to grow and prosper. The industry faces many challenges, Bohitile said.
“We are seeing the lowest cattle numbers in the last decade and the global economic crisis that is impacting on all consumers. The industry is fragmented and fragmenting even further – we need to unite and speak with one voice so that we do not create additional noise in sector,” she said.
Meatco Awards 2012 Top five producers: 1. Wolfgang Zimmer (Meatco Producer of the Year) 2. Rudy Sheidt 3. Swen Knye 4. Peter Shaepe 5. Ortwin von Gossler Top NCA Producers: (One to 50 cattle slaughtered) 1. Karel Hamutima Nairenge 2. Theopoldt Harakuta Top NCA Producers: (50 cattle or more slaughtered) 1. Frans Kapofi 2. Kashanu Tobias