WINDHOEK: Meatco Chairperson Clara Bohitile says it is important that a conducive environment is created to allow the local meat industry to grow and prosper.
Speaking at the Meat Corporation of Namibia (Meatco)’s Producer of the Year awards ceremony on Friday, Bohitile said this is necessary as the industry faces a number of challenges. This includes the fact that the lowest cattle numbers for the last decade are currently being seen, as well as the effect of the current global economic crisis which is affecting all consumers.
“Currently the industry is fragmented and fragmenting even further. We need to unite and speak with one voice so that we do not create additional noise in the sector,” she said.
Namibia is the only African country to have branded premium beef products on the shelves of international retailers.
To be able to serve these markets, Bohitile said, there is a need to consider the requirements to be able to do so, which include “unwavering ethics, the finest quality and consistency of product, reliability of supply and the flexibility to deliver whatever customers require”.
Bohitile said Meatco has been able to achieve all this through the support of the country’s producers.
At the same occasion, outgoing Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Meatco, Kobus du Plessis expressed similar sentiments, noting that Meatco has succeeded in getting branded premium products on the shelves of international retailers.
“I would like to thank all our producers that year in, year out, despite the various challenges, continue to deliver world class quality cattle to Meatco. You are the lifeblood of this business and without you, Meatco cannot exist,” he added.
At the awards ceremony, Wolfgang Zimmer came out tops as the overall winner, while Rudy Sheidt; Swen Knye; Peter Shaepe; and Ortwin von Gossler also landed in the top four.
Northern Communal Areas Producers of the Year (category one to 50 cattle slaughtered) were Karel Hamutima Nairenge, who landed in first place and won a breeding bull worth N.dollars 25 000, and Theopoldt Harakuta, who won the second place.
In the category of 50 cattle or more slaughtered, Frans Kapofi won a breeding bull worth N.dollars 25 000 while Kashanu Tobias scooped the second place.