ZIMBABWE – After the recent reopening of Zimbabwe’s largest beef processor and marketer, CSC-Boustead Beef Zimbabwe, the company announced it will resume exporting beef and canned products in the first quarter of the year.
The company’s engineers are reported to already be on the ground dealing with veterinary concerns on the cattle before the exportations can begin.
CSC, initially named the Cold Storage Company, reopened in August last year after being out of operations for 2022 years as a result of events associated with the Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy.
Before closing its doors, the company used to handle an annual quota of beef exports of 9,100 tonnes to the European Union making about US$45 million per year.
It employed over 4,500 people whose jobs were lost when the facility was discontinued after the EU suspended imports following an outbreak of the foot-and-mouth disease in the country.
It closed in the 2000s on account of many other challenges such as inadequate working capital, a decline in the commercial herd, and outstanding foreign debt among other issues.
At its peak, CSC used to deal with a total of 150,000 tonnes of beef and beef products annually, some of which it exported to the EU and other international markets.
CSC-Boustead Beef Zimbabwe’s marketing executive Mr Isaiah Machingura said in an interview that operations are underway to prepare the country to resume the exportation of beef to international destinations.
The company anticipates generating US$50 million through exports to the COMESA and SADC region, and some parts of Asia.
“CSC has built a strong relationship with local farmers to ensure the availability of enough cattle for slaughter. We are not only going to export beef but even canned products’” said Machingura.
He also informed that the country’s beef was heavily sought after on the international markets as well as by other African countries.
He attributes this to the high quality of the beef saying it is because they employ natural grazing on the veld, a type of wide-open rural landscape in Southern Africa.
The company has also come up with breeding strategies for sustainable production required by the current market dynamics.
They have also implemented a new system which permits farmers to put their cattle in CSC paddocks, get paid, then when cattle come for slaughter after 60-90 days, farmers get the added advantage of value addition due to the benefits accrued from increased cattle weight.
This is different from their previous method where farmers would just sell their cattle to CSC once and go.
CSC used to be one of the country’s biggest employers and with the resumption of operations, it is anticipated to have a positive impact on the country’s economy once more.
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