Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

23 November 2012

Namibia: ASDA Wants More Meatco Beef

Representatives of ASDA, Walmart's British subsidiary is visiting Namibia to secure and extend their arrangement with Meatco. As part of the trip, the ASDA representatives will hold discussions with local farmers on further opportunities.

ASDA has been sourcing beef worth £2million at retail price from Meatco for the past two years. The team is looking at their sourcing of Namibian products from both existing and new farms or areas.

The ASDA team will extend their interactions beyond the Meatco factories and into the farming community, the developing farmers and commercial. A variety of stakeholders, involved in beef exports from Namibia, will be able to meet the ASDA team to discuss experiences, the challenges and opportunities going forward.

"ASDA values the business that we have established with the Namibian farming and meat sector and we are looking forward to the opportunities we can develop whilst we are visiting. [We are looking for] a better understanding of [the] opportunities that Namibia provides for beef sourcing both in the immediate and the longer term." said Dr Chris Brown, Head of Sourcing at ASDA.

The volume of Namibian beef procured for the delicatessen cooked beef business of ASDA has been growing steadily and the relationship between ASDA and Meatco has developed well, both at technical and commercial level.

"Meatco and the farmers are looking forward to extending the relationship it has with ASDA whilst exploring further opportunities such as jointly developing new products and extending the partnership for Namibian beef suppliers in a very challenging European marketplace" read a statement announcing the visit of the ASDA delegation.

"Currently, the global trade in beef is dominated by South America and, in particular, by a small number of companies with global reach based in Brazil and North America. One of the many benefits of having Walmart in Africa has been the opportunity to work with local suppliers in helping them become more competitive by providing them with access to international markets. For example, IPL, a subsidiary of ASDA, has been working with suppliers in South Africa to export fresh produce and wines to ASDA, Walmart Canada and Walmart Japan.

Massmart-Walmart said it is aware of the many challenges facing local and emerging businesses in Africa and aims to continue focusing on including and accommodating local manufacturers and suppliers in its supplier listing.

According to Massmart, ASDA's decision to establish and develop a sustainable beef source in Namibia demonstrates a continuing commitment to support emerging farmers in Africa. It also shows support for the Namibian economy based on a partnership to develop a longer term relationship.

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