Meatco prepares for US market entry
Meat producer, Meatco, expects to start exports to the United States in a month’s time following approval by the country’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).
The development is the culmination of an application process that started in 2002.
“On 14 July 2016, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) added Namibia to the list of countries eligible to export meat and meat products to the United States. Meatco is now busy finalizing a few things, such as brand development, packaging and labeling approval,” Meatco’s Manager: Corporate Affairs, Rosa Hamukuaja – Thobias said.
“Meatco is looking forward to this exciting milestone that has put Namibia on par with other major world-class players regarding beef trade.”
Namibia is now eligible to export to the US boneless (not ground) beef raw products such as primal cuts, chucks, blade, and beef trimmings.
The country’s projected volumes to the US are expected to start at about 862 metric tonnes (mt), increasing to about 5670 mt by 2019 according to US Embassy estimates.
“Namibia would need to submit additional information for review before FSIS would allow Namibia to export other beef products, eg. bone-in beef cuts or other types of livestock to the United States,” Hamukuaja – Thobias said.
Beef exports by Meatco to the US, will also see the country making use of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) window, which allows 39 African nations, including Namibia, to export to the US more than 7,000 products ranging from textiles to manufactured items duty free.
AGOA was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in May 2000 with the objective of expanding US trade and investment with sub-Saharan Africa, to stimulate economic growth, to encourage economic integration, and to facilitate sub-Saharan Africa’s integration into the global economy.
To remain beneficiaries of AGOA, countries are required to cut barriers to US trade and investment, operate a market-based economy, protect workers’ rights and implement economic policies to reduce poverty.
Beef exports to the US are expected to lift trade between the United States and Namibia, which topped N$3,2 billion last year.
The US market is also expected to provide another boost for the local beef industry, which is worth in excess of N$ 2.4 billion annually after China and Hong Kong approved local exports.
Meatco recently clinched the entire 1600 mt quota on offer to Norway after initially having been allocated 1200 mt by the Meat Board.