27 June 2019

Namibian Beef Reaches China

Namibia's first beef exports have finally reached the Chinese market, after the launch took place in March.

The meat reached China on Tuesday, according to a statement by Meatco.

Namibia's ambassador to China, Elia Kaiyamo, represented the Namibian government at the delivery of the prime meat in that country.

"The significance of the consignment of Namibian beef is more than just adding yet another high-quality ingredient to the Chinese people's plate, and marks the success of the two countries in the realisation of win-win cooperation and happiness for all, featured in the vision of 'Sino-African community with a shared future," he noted.

Meanwhile, Meatco corporate affairs manager Rosa Hamukuaja-Thobias said Meatco was proud to be associated with the export, and that they appreciate their valued producers/farmers for their continued commitment in this sector.

She added that Meatco was in the process of preparing other customers' orders, in addition to striving "to live by our objective of being the preferred marketing channel of Namibian livestock, and to promote the most sought-after meat brands in the long-term interests of our stakeholders."

The corporate affairs manager observed that China is the world's largest consumer market of beef, and an added bonus for Meatco to place its product in a niche market.

"This is where the best possible returns can be achieved for producers while contributing to the economy in a positive way," she added.

Trade and industrialisation minister Tjekero Tweya said in March that Namibia will focus on value addition to its beef before it is exported.

He was speaking then at the launch of the first beef exports to China under an agreement signed by the two countries nine years ago.

He said value addition will help the beef sector generate more income, and create employment.

"We will not continue to send unprocessed meat, but we will have value addition," he stated, reiterating that producers should take value addition seriously before exporting unprocessed products.

Tweya said a bigger market, being the African continental free trade area, will be opened soon for trade between African countries, which have a combined population of 1,3 billion people.

China's ambassador to Namibia, Zhang Yiming, at the same platform said Namibia is the second African country to export beef to China after South Africa, which has stopped due to the outbreak of animal diseases.

Namibia also became the first African country to sign a beef export agreement with China in 2015, and the only African country currently exporting to China, Zhang added.

Additionally, Meatco is currently marketing its products in about 18 European countries.

- charmaine@namibian.com.na; Twitter: Char_Ngatjiheue.

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