Namibia plans to rejig Meat Corporation to stave off competition from new entrants

NAMIBIA – Namibian Ministry of Agriculture plans to re-strategize and reposition the Namibia Meat Corporation (MeatCo) as a modern entity to counter the escalating competitive industry environment.

Speaking at the ministry,s annual week-long planning workshop, the agriculture minister, Mr Calle Sclettwein, said that MeatCo can no longer be a usual business since the current situation calls for the entity to urgently revisit its strategy and outlook.

He added that the entity received much input and influence from private enterprises such as Beefcor Meat Suppliers and newcomer Savanna Beef Processors who are rising to the top in the meat sector.

“Competing is getting tough locally and that shows Meatco’s decades of monopoly have ended and now things need to be done differently,” Sclettwein noted.

“At one point, Meatco was offering good prices to farmers but they always paid the farmers late and that delay in payments caused problems in the relationship. So, new and effective ways of doing business will be the way forward.”

Schlettwein pointed out that the Meatco slaughterhouse and meat processing plant urgently needed intervention from his department and it is important to support the reform and sustainability efforts of Meatco as an anchor for market access and as a price stabilizer.

“We are working closely with the Treasury and stakeholders to ensure a sustainable future for Meatco and therefore its value proposition for the benefit of the livestock sector,” he highlighted.

The minister emphasized that the classification of Meatco as a commercial entity under the new Public Enterprises Governance Act is wrong because Meatco is far from being a commercial entity.

Meatco remains a very important asset to the government and its role in improving the lives of its farmers and livestock industry equally remains vital, he added.

 “We should rather come up with new marketing strategies, improved infrastructure and modernized measures around our animal healthcare systems and so forth,” Schlettwein explained.

According to an organizational report, MeatCo slaughters an average of 2,250 animals per day contrary to the Coperation’s target of 5,000 to 6,000 animals per month.

The report recommended that for Meatco to reach its desired levels of output additional funding in excess of US$10.3 million would be needed. 

MeatCo has also been severely impacted by rising producer prices and high-fixed overhead costs resulting in a decline in market share from 48% in 2015 to 16% in 2022, the report outlined.

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