Meatco suffers drastic slaughter decline

By Hilary Mare

MEATCO is most likely to slaughter only 39 000 cattle by the end of the 2020/21 financial year, far less than the 116 000 that it slaughtered in the previous financial year, Meatco board chairperson, Johnnie Hamman has said.

Hamman highlighted that throughput remains one of our biggest challenges after the devastating drought during 2019.

“We are aware of the challenges of throughput to our export abattoir, stretching from the financial constraints to Meatco (as a business) to farmers having to restock their herds,” he noted.

He went on to emphasise that Meatco is a strategic organisation which belongs to all farmers and had to adapt and be creative in engaging with various stakeholders such as farmers and staff members for the export abattoir to survive.

“We launched an initiative, known as #Meatco Matuyenene in our quest to boost Throughput. Matuyenene is an Otjiherero word that means ‘we are able’. This is our call upon all Namibian farmers, farmer’s associations and cooperatives to have their animals slaughtered at the export abattoir. The aim of the initiative is to enable Meatco to purchase all available slaughter cattle which are in a good condition.

“Since the launch of #Meatco Matuyenene in October 2020, the livestock procurement officers and the livestock and value addition department have been successfully hard at work,” he explained adding that the progress made with the United States market early this year is noteworthy.

“This market finally opened after eight years of negotiations and passing many intricate protocols. The performance of this market is continuously being monitored.”

Following the postponement of the Annual General Member’s meeting, the date for Meatco’s 2019/2020 financial year-end AGM has been set for February 19 2021.

“I would like to thank our internal stakeholders, the Meatco staff, for your commitment in a difficult year. The company passed several difficult Covid-19 compliance audits requested by various substantial clients. This shows your level of dedication and we, as the board, are working around the clock to ensure that Meatco can adapt to the new norms in which we find ourselves.

“The board is currently finalising the 2021-2026 Integrated Strategic Business Plan (ISBP). I would like to highlight that the board needs your support in implementing this strategic plan and making it a reality. We will share more information regarding this at the AGM. I trust that you, as our valued stakeholders, will be united and remain a formidable force in assisting us to revive the livestock industry, with particular reference to our beef value chain,” noted Hamman.