NAMIBIA – Meatco has opened shops selling directly to consumers with a variety of meat products, such as braaiwors dubbed ‘Babalaas’, under the brand name MEATMA.
The shops are in Windhoek, Okakarara and Ongwediva. Meatco’s product range include a variety of braaiwors labeled as ‘Beef Griller’, ‘Chakalaka’, ‘Fiesta’, ‘Legends’, ‘Babalaas’ and ‘Barbeque’.
Also available will be beef patties, beef mince, Chief’s Choice econo burgers, hindquarter leg, shin, and club steak.
At the opening of the new venture this week, Minister of Trade and Industry, Calle Schlettwein said Namibia simply cannot any longer rely on the exports of raw materials like the exports of weaners and slaughter ready cattle on the hoof or exports of beef in bulk and an approach solely focusing at achieving the best price for producers at the farm gate is not sufficient anymore, a more sophisticated value chain needs to be developed.
Schlettwein said the Meatco initiative is very much in line with the “Growth at Home Strategy” and serves as example to encourage increased manufacturing and value addition to the country’s natural resources, the development and strengthening of local and cross-border value chains, and leveraging linkages and complementarites between and amongst the various sectors of the economy, including the SME sector.
Schlettwein said the expected outcomes of these initiatives are accelerated sustainable economic growth, job and wealth creation leading to a more equitable wealth distribution in the economy and tangible improvements in social welfare.
“Agriculture will be one of the main drivers of our industrialisation and it is essential that we continue to link agriculture production ever more closer to agro-processing and manufacturing in all its forms. This development from Meatco is a shining example,” he noted.
Schlettwein stressed the challenges for the meat industry saying it is difficult to put local products on the market due to the high competition with imported products.
“The country should utilise the full potential of its varied agricultural resources to the benefit of the larger population. Processing of agricultural goods and the promotion of resourced-based development are of crucial importance.
Without that, we would be nothing other than an exporter of raw agricultural produce and consumers of imported food. We would remain pegged at the bottom of the regional and global value chains and we would perpetuate our dependency for food on external sources,” he said.
He added that Namibia has seen a huge difference in wealth creation and the number of job opportunities that exist in the productive part of the sector versus in importing and distribution.
“We can thus not afford not to take policy measures to improve and secure our own production capacity for the sake of the large-scale employment linked with our large producers and the imbalanced industrial development that we are faced with in Namibia,” he said.