Nam beef breaks into China

By Hilary Mare

THE first consignment of Namibian beef to China that was dispatched form Meatco on March 28 has officially arrived, Confidente can reveal.

At the official opening of the first batch of the Namibian beef in China last week, Dr Elia Kaiyamo, Ambassador of Namibia to China highlighted that although it may sound like a potter boasting about his pots while praising a product from my home country, his pride for Namibian beef is well founded.

“Many tourists visiting Namibia will fall in love with the local cuisine with tender steaks and spur ribs coming from local cattle.

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The secret to the taste of Namibian beef is that the livestock there are all free ranging on organic grasslands and hormone free.

“In fact Namibian beef is a highly sort after product locally and overseas.

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Some 9500 tons of tasty natural beef are exported to the European Union annually, about 1600 tons to the Norwegian market and 17000 tons to South Africa. Now, it has come to China to offer our Chinese friends a delicious taste of natural Namibia,” said Dr Kaiyamo adding that the significance of the arrival of this batch of Namibian beef is more than just adding another high quality ingredient to the Chinese people’s plate but it marks the success of two countries in the realisation of a win-win cooperation and happiness for all featured in a vision of Sino-African community with a shared future.

“In order to create a win-win cooperation environment and realise happiness for all, we need to combine our complementary strengths while we strive to meet our respective needs. The success of the beef story shows how this can be done. As China is enjoying greater prosperity today, the Chinese people are also eager to have access to high quality products especially food products. On the other hand Namibia has a thriving developing country is eager to expand its international market and create more job opportunities. By conducting trade like this, people from both countries benefit,” extended Kaiyamo.

In January 2016, the Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People’s Republic of China visited Meatco to conduct an audit on the facilities. The process, however, slowed down between 2016 and the first half of 2017, when Namibia experienced lumpy skin disease outbreaks in the foot-and-mouth disease-free zone of Namibia, notably in the Otjozondjupa, Kunene and Omaheke regions. These outbreaks resulted in renegotiations between the two countries.

A breakthrough was achieved when the outbreaks were contained by means of vaccination, and officially declared over in May 2017.

Following the declaration, the Chinese General Administration for Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine audited the products. Thereafter members of the China Meat Association visited Meatco in October 2017 to conduct market research and to familiarise themselves with Namibia’s meat production system.

A final memorandum of understanding was signed on 29 March 2018, while declarations for lumpy skin disease were completed in early 2019.

Aspects of the translation of Chinese legislation are still on-going but the clarification of microbiology criteria was duly completed in March 2019.