9 January 2018

Namibia: Meatco Waits to See What Sort of Year Would Be 2018

Windhoek — The country's meat processing and export company, Meatco, awaits to see how year 2018 would pan out, as the company's board this week start sifting through applications for the position of the chief executive officer, to replace Advocate Vekuii Rukoro who left last year amid

controversies.

The new chief executive officer would be expected to turn around the corporation, in line with a re-alignment exercise already approved by the board for implementation in 2018.

The aim will be to transform the corporation into an efficient business unit, providing clients and customers with the best possible service in the market, managing its costing structures, building and fostering its marketing brand and to contribute in safeguarding the Namibian economy moving forward.

Despite its most disturbing and controversial AGM ever last year, Meatco

has succeeded in implementing the fixed forward pricing contract which was introduced to offer a secure price to the producer, says Jethro Kwenani, communication officer at Meatco.

Kwenani further said that additional feedlot facilities to assist with consistent throughput at its export abattoir and a new producer portal created on the Meatco website to ease access to prices and marking trends.

"Noteworthy is the progress made with the United States, Japan and Russia as potential new meat export markets. The first containers of meat were processed and exported to Hong Kong, one of the most lucrative export markets. One of the targets of last year was to optimise the returns realised from meat sales, which have been successful according to sales revenue increases," Kwenani said.

Meatco operates in a unique business environment with almost unlimited access to sophisticated international markets however supply side constraints for raw materials on a consistent basis are the biggest challenge.

With the slaughter industry having had a difficult 2017, due to abattoirs in Namibia battling to compete with South African parity prices, supply of raw material to the abattoir decreased. Several plans are, however, underway to counteract this. Existing backward integration initiatives were investigated and receive attention and additional funding is sourced to expand these capabilities. The Board also revisited the current producer bonus strategy and will soon introduce and offer a longer-term incentive bonus to loyal producers. This strategy included bonus provisions as from 1 February 2016 onwards and will be broadly based on a combination of cattle numbers, quality and merit points.

The Fixed Price Contract will be available until the end of March 2018, and soon a decision will be made by Meatco's management whether to continue with the Fixed Contracts throughout the "peak season".

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