New Era (Windhoek)

Namibia: Americans Inspect Nam Beef

A delegation from the United States of America (USA) is in the country to inspect abattoirs and meat processing plants in the country.

The US inspection is the first this year and would be followed by the EU audit, which is scheduled for between February 19 and March 1. Health inspectors from China are also, expected in the country in early March. Senior Manager for Quality Assurance at Meatco, Rosa Katjivena, confirmed the visit of the Americans, as well as the second visit of a Chinese delegation early in March this year.

Namibia exports 80 percent of its prime red meat to European countries, especially the Nordic countries, while South Africa is the prime destination for Namibia's cattle on the hoof.

Yesterday afternoon the inspection team from the US visited Meatco's abattoir in Windhoek, after visiting various other slaughtering facilities, in addition to holding talks with other independent players in the local meat industry.

Namibia signed an agreement on animal health and quarantine standards on meat production with China in 2011, and the visit has been one of the elements yet to be fulfilled under the agreement.

Meanwhile, Katjivena says it is "too early to speak about details," regarding the Namibian agreement with China but stressed that China is interested in procuring Namibian meat in all the various categories, from prime cuts to cheaper meat cutlets and processed meat.

Export figures from the Meat Board show that 45 894 tonnes of live cattle with a value of N$8.57 million were exported to South Africa in 2011. Exports of Namibian beef cuts to Norway and the European Union countries totalled N$3.67 million which represents 8 392 tonnes.

The African market received 15 873 tonnes valued at N$3.88 million. Processed meat made up only 45 percent of the total exports to Europe and Africa. The figures for 2012 are not yet available, according to the chief of information systems at the Meat Board, Maria Immanuel.

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