Meatco and Witvlei bid for Norwegian meat quota, Namibia
Namibian.com.na - Oct 22nd 2013, 08:31
Meat processing companies, Meatco and Witvlei Meat, have once again bid for the lucrative beef export quota to Norway, which is set at 1600 tonnes per year and pays 72% more than exports to other parts of Europe. Earlier this month, the Meat Board of Namibia requested for bids for the Norway quota from local meat companies.
Vehaka Tjimune, an executive of stakeholder relations at Meatco said in an interview that Meatco, as the biggest cattle slaughter facility and exporter, already has expressed interest in the Norway quota. Meatco is slaughtering in excess of 100 000 cattle annually at its Windhoek and Okahandja export factories. In the last financial year 2012/13 Meatco has produced 26 000 tonnes of beef.
“Meatco has applied to the portion of the quota proportional to its throughput meaning the number cattle we slaughter annually,” said Tjimune.
Tjimune added that Meatco’s export data is based on its financial year, which stretches from February to January and does not coincide with the calendar year.
“For your information, Meatco has fully utilised its portion of the Namibian quota and in addition we also utilised the Botswana component due to their inability to do so,” Tjimune said.
Tjimune explained that Meatco has been part of the Namibian initiative to have the Norwegian quota increased for the benefit of the Namibian producers.
“The selling price that we achieve in Norway is 72% higher compared to the price achieved for the same product mix in Europe. The Norwegian market is an important market for Namibian beef producers. It is the best high value market currently available for Namibian beef. It is therefore important that the benefits accruing from Namibia’s access to that market is channeled back to our producers,” said Tjimune.
Earlier this month, Witvlei Meat managing director Henry Badenhorst said in an interview that the company intends to apply for the full Norwegian meat export quota. In the past, the quota was split on a 50-50 basis, based on a Cabinet decision, between Witvlei Meat and Meatco. He said Witvlei Meat has managed to fill its Norwegian quota in the past two years and that the company was pushing for the quota to be increased.
Badenhorst also disclosed that Witvlei has signed an interim lease agreement with Agribank for the abattoir at Witvlei, despite the dispute before the Supreme Court. “Whatever the outcome of the court case, the lease agreement will stand. We signed the agreement a few weeks ago.” According to Badenhorst, the long running court case has not affected production at Witvei Meat. The appeal in the Supreme Court is expected to be heard in October. Witvlei Meat has been leasing the abattoir from Agribank for seven years before the legal dispute over the price, which the meat company offered to buy the abattoir, emerged.
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