SOUTH AFRICA – Following the lifting of the 21 year ban imposed by the Saudi Arabian amid the outbreak of foot and mouth disease, South African meat producers are set to enter the Asian Kingdom meat market.

The ban was lifted following an inspection of South African abattoirs and feedlots by the Saudi Arabian Food and Drug Authority in June this year.

The inspection ensured that South African meat products complied with Saudi Arabian market access protocols and halaal certification.

“We had certain halaal procedural issues that needed to be addressed and the Department of Agriculture had to ensure veterinary certification was obtained to ensure that the ban was lifted,”  South African Saudi Business Council (SASBC) co-chairperson, Stravos Nicolaou said.

According to Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel, South African meat producers are now allowed to participate in a huge, global halaal meat industry.

In addition the minstry reported that an export deal has already been struck between the two governments with plans to export up to 1 000 tonnes of meat per year to Saudi Arabia.

“South Africa already has a strong presence in markets like the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia. The Saudi market is valued at over US$5 billion,” a South African analyst reported.

“South Africa offers a premium quality meat product, and we look forward to exporting our meat products.”

According to South African Minister, Thoko Didiza the decision to lift the ban did not come easily and resulted in a lot of meetings and preparations put in.

“The fact that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia granted us this market access soon after their audit attests to the safety of our beef, our intact biosecurity as well as the compliant state of our abattoirs, and feedlots,” he added.

“South Africa offers a premium quality meat product and we look forward to exporting our meat products. We will work with industry and retailers through store promotions and exhibiting at upcoming events in Saudi Arabia.”

South Africa’s Exports to Saudi Arabia were US$403.56 million in 2022, according to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade.

“South Africa Exports of meat and edible meat offal was US$308.64 million during 2022.”

Report from the GlobalData, the meat market in South Africa was valued at US$7.5 billion in 2020 and is projected to register a growth of more than 3% during the forecast period 2021 to 2025.

The South Africa Processed Meat Market size is expected to grow from US$ 589.16 million in 2023 to US$ 821.70 million by 2028, at a CAGR of 6.88% during the forecast period (2023-2028).

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