10 January 2013

Namibia: Norway Needs More Namibian Meat

FOLLOWING Namibia's agreement with the Norwegian government to export meat to the Scandinavian country last year, more meat is requested for export to specific retailer groups such as NorgesGruppen - one of Norway's largest retail grocery chains.

Meatco among others supplies meat to NorgesGruppen.

Norway's beef shortages are linked to the country's butter and other diary product shortages. Cattle are kept alive for diary production instead of meat. Therefore, Namibia's already agreed partnership will accommodate a temporary solution to the crisis, but more meat is needed.

The Norwegian market faces a shortage of about 17 000 tons and Namibia will be able to account for at least more than 3 200. Already Namibia supplies an agreed 2 700 tons quota through the GSP system. This system exempts Namibia from paying export duties. It is now up to Government to push for higher numbers, says meat producers.

Witvlei Abattoir's chairman, Sidney Martin told The Namibian yesterday that his company supplies 1 100 tons to Norwegian state meat regulator.

"We are able to supply more, but the two governments [Namibia and Norway] need to come together to agree upon a higher quota and we will be able to supply the whole year round," said Martin.

He noted that the abattoir usually runs out of quota in September and October.

"This means that we will have re-plan our cattle intake to keep the abattoir open all year round so workers remain employed. We will have to reduce intake, but this will affect our efficiency of operations," he said.

Witvlei and Meatco have taken over some of the quota from Botswana who could not come up with the numbers.

By the time of going to press, Meatco had not answered to questions forwarded to them.

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