Namibia: German Billionaire Targets Namibian Beef

4 September 2023

The owner of international food-processing company Tönnies Holding ApS & Co plans to open a company in Namibia specialising in the slaughtering, butchering, processing and refining of pork and beef.

Clemence Tönnies last week informed President Hage Geingob about his plans during a courtesy visit at State House.

Geingob welcomed the investment, but pointed out that Namibia only accepts investors willing to hold hands by focusing on beneficiation, and addressing the high youth unemployment.

"Some of our beef is at limited places or zones. We need to clean that up so that we have enough beef to export. If you come and join us, then perfect. It is a thumbs up; we already have markets. Youth unemployment is the biggest problem in the country. Employ them, otherwise there is a threat to the peace and democracy we are currently enjoying in this country because people don't eat those things. We welcome good investors who are willing to add value here," he added.

The Tönnies Group is a German family business in the meat industry which operates internationally. Its core business involves pork and beef processing.

For pork, Tönnies is the German market leader. With revenue of over €6 billion [over N$142 billion], the company is one of the largest meat groups in Europe.

Through its subsidiaries, the company processes and supplies pork and beef, sausages and ingredients.

Tonnies Holding also offers slaughtering, butchering and processing of pigs, saws and cattle. It serves customers worldwide.

The President said people with no jobs are easily tempted to do evil deeds.

Meanwhile, the German billionaire assured the President that the company will focus on local value-addition and creating youth employment.

Moreover, a report by state-owned meat-processing and meat-marketing entity Meatco stated that market development is critical to ensure maximum realisation from various markets.

The report by Meatco CEO Mwilima Mushokabanji stipulated that to date, the company successfully exported its first beef consignments to emerging markets, namely China in 2019 and the USA in 2020. Critical to Meatco, he stated, was to ensure the mainstreaming of the Northern Communal Areas (NCAs) as part of living up to the mandate of serving all producers and creating wealth for all Namibians.

In the 2022/23 integrated annual report, Mushokabanji stated that for many years, farmers from the NCAs were deprived of accessing current niche markets.

"Opportunities are now available to access such markets due to the robust market development strategy that was implemented. Meatco developed the strategy for the NCAs, and successfully mainstreamed the NCAs into the Namibian economy by operating the Katima Mulilo abattoir, and marketing certified beef in line with the Commodity-Based Trade Protocol from the Katima Mulilo abattoir. To date, beef from the NCAs through our Katima Mulilo abattoir is finding space in the Ghanaian market, Angola and the DRC, as exported through the Commodity-Based Trade Protocols," observed the CEO.

Mushokabanji noted that Meatco is in final discussions to open the Middle East market to begin exporting NCAs' beef into this market. They made these milestones possible as part of a relentless drive to pursue an inclusive agenda to service all producers, regardless of where they find themselves in Namibia.

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