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Cleaver Best Butchers Awards 2023/2024

Recognising Excellence in Butcheries Across South Africa

Pretoria, July 10, 2024 – The winners of the 19th Cleaver Awards were announced during a dedicated ceremony, hosted by RMIS and ceremony sponsor Freddy Hirsch – The Spice Champions, at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Saturday, July 6, 2024, just before the iconic rugby clash where the Springboks triumphed over Ireland for the first time since 2016. 

These awards recognise the exemplary performance and dedication of South Africa’s finest butcheries throughout the year 2023/2024. 

Winners: 

More than 3 tills  
>3KZNBluff Meat Supply Richards Bay
>3ECCuyler Butchery
>3FSFredilia Meat Welkom Park
>3NWImpala Vleis Brits
>3WC Karoo Lusern Slaghuis/Butchery
>3MPLLebombo Slaghuis
>3GAUMondanette Irene Meat Merchant
>3LMPVleislapa – Marshall Street
Less than 3 tills  
≤3GAUBoma Meat Market – Olympus
≤3MPLFranks Meat – Mall
≤3KZNNatalia Meat Market Vryheid
≤3FSPowermeat
≤3WCTOLLIES SLAGHUIS (not attending)
≤3ECVan Der Stel Butchery
≤3NWVision Meat Klerksdorp
≤3NCWest End Vleismark Hadisonpark
Meat Markets  
MMNWFood Lover’s Market Cornerstone
MMGAUKaraglen Superspar
MMMPLMalelane Super Spar
MMWCOld Oak Spar
MMKZNOxford Freshmarket Waterfall
MMFSRoots Mannys Butchery Welkom 2
National Winners  
>3 Karoo Lusern Slaghuis/Butchery
≤3 Franks Meat – Mall
Meat Market Malelane Super Spar
Main Market Meat World Katlehong

This year’s awards introduced several innovations aimed at further enhancing transparency and recognising excellence in diverse segments of the market.

New Categories and Rigorous Audits

In a departure from previous years, the 2023/2024 Cleaver Awards featured notable changes:

New Category Inclusion: The addition of the “Main Markets” category highlighted retail butchers serving rural and township areas, underscoring their integral role in local communities.

Streamlined Selection Process: This year, only one provincial winner per category was selected, from which national winners were determined. This approach aimed to showcase the best regional talent on a national stage.

Comprehensive Auditing: Unlike past editions focusing solely on specific sections like beef, this year’s audit by SAMIC covered the entire butchery, assessing all aspects including food safety, hygiene, value for money, and customer service.

Methodology and Recognition

The selection process began with public nominations, followed by rigorous audits of the top 100 nominated butcheries across South Africa. Winners were announced in the following categories:

3 and Less Tills: Recognising one winner per province where applicable and one national winner.

More Than 3 Tills: Acknowledging exceptional butcheries with broader operations, honouring provincial winners alongside a national champion.

Meat Markets: Celebrating excellence in hyper/supermarkets across provinces, with one provincial and national winner each.

Main Markets (Township Areas): Highlighting the standout performer in retail butcheries serving rural and township communities nationwide.

Acknowledgements and Transition

RMIS, responsible for overseeing the industry up to the abattoir level, concludes its involvementwith the Cleaver Awards this year. The management of the Cleaver Awards will be handled henceforth by Ryan Read and Twins Black. RMIS extends its best wishes to Ryan Read and the Twins Black team in their stewardship of this esteemed industry recognition program.

For More Information

For further details on SAMIC’s auditing process, visit www.samic.co.za or contact them on (012) 361-4545. For inquiries regarding the voting and nominations process, please reach out to Ryan Read of Twins Black via admin@twinsblack.com or call 0837115379.

RMIS and GRAIN SA Discuss Collaboration at NAMPO 2024

During NAMPO 2024, RMIS CEO Dewald Olivier and GRAIN SA CEO Dr. Tobias Doyer, along with their various team members, met to explore potential opportunities between their organisations. The discussion focused on the intersections of the red meat and grain industries, acknowledging the significant role of the red meat industry as a consumer of grain products, as well as the prevalence of South African farmers engaged in mixed operations involving both grain and red meat production.

As two key players in South Africa’s agricultural landscape, RMIS and GRAIN SA recognise the importance of working together to address common challenges and promote sustainable growth. Their teams engaged in constructive dialogue regarding inclusive growth and farmer development initiatives, aiming to identify areas of mutual benefit.

Dewald Olivier, RMIS CEO, commented, “Our meeting with GRAIN SA highlights the value of collaboration in advancing the interests of farmers and fostering a resilient agricultural sector. By pooling our expertise and resources, we can create synergies that benefit both industries.”

The discussions between RMIS and GRAIN SA exemplify the spirit of cooperation essential for driving positive change in South Africa’s agricultural sector. Both organisations are committed to exploring opportunities for partnership that promote shared growth and contribute to the overall development of the industry.

Red Meat Industry Services (RMIS) Premieres BULLSEYE at NAMPO 2024

The Red Meat Industry Services (RMIS) is set to unveil a captivating documentary at NAMPO 2024, offering viewers an immersive journey through the South African Red Meat Value Chain. The documentary is a tribute to the rich history, challenges, and innovations driving the red meat industry forward. The title “BULLSEYE,” alludes to the firm targets that the RMIS has set out to achieve in the Red Meat Industry Strategy 2030.

Narrated by John Hall, a local South African cattle farmer, viewers will witness first-hand the challenges faced by producers, new innovations by the RMIS, and the passionate individuals propelling the industry’s growth.

The documentary delves into various aspects of the red meat industry, highlighting the vital role of technology, tradition, and innovation in meeting the demands of a rapidly evolving market. Through interviews with industry stakeholders, including Dr.Phillip Oosthuizen, Alvin Steenkamp, Michaela Pretorius, and Marina Fourie, viewers gain valuable insights into topics ranging from animal welfare and sustainability to market access and consumer education.

“We are excited to premiere BULLSEYE at NAMPO 2024,” said Dewald Olivier RMIS CEO. “This documentary serves as a celebration of the resilience and dedication of everyone involved in the red meat value chain. It is a testament to our commitment to fostering a sustainable, competitive, and inclusive industry for future generations, and we look forward to meeting the role-players of the value chain at NAMPO.”

Screenings of BULLSEYE will take place every hour on the hour from 14 – 17 May at the Livestock Auction Building during NAMPO 2024. Attendees are invited to join the RMIS team for this cinematic experience, offering a glimpse into the heart of the red meat industry.

Following NAMPO 2024, the documentary will be available for viewing on the Red Meat Khuluma YouTube channel, ensuring broader accessibility for audiences worldwide.

Disclaimer:

The opinions expressed in this documentary are solely those of the individuals interviewed and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Red Meat Industry Services (RMIS). Viewers are encouraged to engage critically with the content and consult additional sources for further understanding. No animals were harmed during the production of this documentary, and ethical filming practices were strictly adhered to. The documentary respects cultural sensitivities and ethical standards in its portrayal of people, practices, and places.

Narrated by John Hall, a local South African cattle farmer, viewers will witness first-hand the challenges faced by producers, new innovations by the RMIS, and the passionate individuals propelling the industry’s growth.

The documentary delves into various aspects of the red meat industry, highlighting the vital role of technology, tradition, and innovation in meeting the demands of a rapidly evolving market. Through interviews with industry stakeholders, including Dr.Phillip Oosthuizen, Alvin Steenkamp, Michaela Pretorius, and Marina Fourie, viewers gain valuable insights into topics ranging from animal welfare and sustainability to market access and consumer education.

“We are excited to premiere BULLSEYE at NAMPO 2024,” said Dewald Olivier RMIS CEO. “This documentary serves as a celebration of the resilience and dedication of everyone involved in the red meat value chain. It is a testament to our commitment to fostering a sustainable, competitive, and inclusive industry for future generations, and we look forward to meeting the role-players of the value chain at NAMPO.”

Screenings of BULLSEYE will take place every hour on the hour from 14 – 17 May at the Livestock Auction Building during NAMPO 2024. Attendees are invited to join the RMIS team for this cinematic experience, offering a glimpse into the heart of the red meat industry.

Following NAMPO 2024, the documentary will be available for viewing on the Red Meat Khuluma YouTube channel, ensuring broader accessibility for audiences worldwide.

Disclaimer:

The opinions expressed in this documentary are solely those of the individuals interviewed and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Red Meat Industry Services (RMIS). Viewers are encouraged to engage critically with the content and consult additional sources for further understanding. No animals were harmed during the production of this documentary, and ethical filming practices were strictly adhered to. The documentary respects cultural sensitivities and ethical standards in its portrayal of people, practices, and places.

The Red Meat Industry Services (RMIS) is set to unveil a captivating documentary at NAMPO 2024, offering viewers an immersive journey through the South African Red Meat Value Chain. The documentary is a tribute to the rich history, challenges, and innovations driving the red meat industry forward. The title “BULLSEYE,” alludes to the firm targets that the RMIS has set out to achieve in the Red Meat Industry Strategy 2030.

Narrated by John Hall, a local South African cattle farmer, viewers will witness first-hand the challenges faced by producers, new innovations by the RMIS, and the passionate individuals propelling the industry’s growth.

The documentary delves into various aspects of the red meat industry, highlighting the vital role of technology, tradition, and innovation in meeting the demands of a rapidly evolving market. Through interviews with industry stakeholders, including Dr.Phillip Oosthuizen, Alvin Steenkamp, Michaela Pretorius, and Marina Fourie, viewers gain valuable insights into topics ranging from animal welfare and sustainability to market access and consumer education.

“We are excited to premiere BULLSEYE at NAMPO 2024,” said Dewald Olivier RMIS CEO. “This documentary serves as a celebration of the resilience and dedication of everyone involved in the red meat value chain. It is a testament to our commitment to fostering a sustainable, competitive, and inclusive industry for future generations, and we look forward to meeting the role-players of the value chain at NAMPO.”

Screenings of BULLSEYE will take place every hour on the hour from 14 – 17 May at the Livestock Auction Building during NAMPO 2024. Attendees are invited to join the RMIS team for this cinematic experience, offering a glimpse into the heart of the red meat industry.

Following NAMPO 2024, the documentary will be available for viewing on the Red Meat Khuluma YouTube channel, ensuring broader accessibility for audiences worldwide.

Disclaimer:

The opinions expressed in this documentary are solely those of the individuals interviewed and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Red Meat Industry Services (RMIS). Viewers are encouraged to engage critically with the content and consult additional sources for further understanding. No animals were harmed during the production of this documentary, and ethical filming practices were strictly adhered to. The documentary respects cultural sensitivities and ethical standards in its portrayal of people, practices, and places.

Red Meat Strategy 2030 – Feedback

Strategic feedback

RED MEAT STRATEGY 2030 FEEDBACK 

The livestock and red meat industry in South Africa has a promising future and the Red Meat Strategy 2030, with the AAMP, will play a definite role in the next two years. 

I will give some feedback on the progress of the Red Meat Strategy 2030 to date, this might seem insignificant in the bigger picture of how to increase the value added to the red meat producer, but this is the foundation of an industry that want to grow exports of beef from 5% to 20% and sheep from 1% to 6%, whilst retaining the local market and creating access to the market for new entrants on the basis of international standards that includes traceability.

Industry made real progress in partnering with government through relationships. If 50% of the targets, set out above, are met, we will be in a better position we currently find ourselves in. These are our strategic objectives and that does not include possible governmental strategic objectives.

Exports of South African red meat has declined. We have seen that in recent figures presented by Wandile Sihlobo. However, a renewed interest in our red meat from Saudi Arabia as well as Brazil over recent weeks and months has me exited and cautiously optimistic.

The Red Meat Strategy 2030, launched in November 2022, and aims to improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the industry by addressing challenges such as animal health and welfare, environmental sustainability, and market access. The implementation of this strategy is likely to have positive impacts on the industry over the next two years and beyond.

I am concerned with the winter approaching and the possibility of Foot-and-Mouth disease rearing its head again. However, many of the producers, feedlots and other role-players have positioned themselves through careful planning and biosecurity measures.

Emergent farmers are also an important consideration for the industry’s future. The government has implemented a number of programs aimed at supporting these farmers and enabling them to enter the market. With the right support and training, emergent farmers can make a significant contribution to the industry’s growth. The Red Meat Strategy 2030 is aimed specifically at these farmers supplying the value chain with 250 000 weaner calves.

South Africa’s membership in the BRICS group (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) also presents opportunities for the industry. The group represents a large and growing market for red meat, and South Africa can leverage its membership to strengthen its export relationships with these countries as can be seen by recent interest in our product from Saudi Arabia.

National consumption of red meat is expected to remain stable over the next two years, simply given the history of consumption and our national red meat culture. The growing interest in alternative protein sources such as plant-based meat is real, and we as industry have to be very wary of their efforts to piggy-back on our products and established names. The poultry and pork industries are likely to continue to provide competition for the red meat industry in the domestic market mainly due to the pricing.

We also saw the recent ‘attack’ on the industry through Die GROOT ontbyt. The classic “Kruger Dunning Effect” seems to apply when it comes to the main contributors to the current climate crises narrative- those with the least knowledge on the topic, has the most confidence to loudly talk about it. Industry will make a stand against these type of public statements with scientifically researched facts. 

In conclusion, while there are challenges facing the livestock and red meat industry in South Africa, there are also many opportunities for growth and success over the next two years. With the right support and policies in place, the industry can continue to thrive and make a significant contribution to the country’s economy. 

The current calf prices show us that our immediate focus should be to create an outlet for the pressure experienced by a weaker consumer. The immediate and easiest way would be to focus on establishing a compartment system signed off by the department of Animal Health at DALRRD to export products to trade partners creating value for the entire value chain. 

Please fee free to Contact our office if you need any information.

Download Feedback Document

From Vision to Action: RMIS Announces its Project Portfolio

RMIS Announces its Project Portfolio

The Red Meat Industry Services (RMIS) is pleased to introduce its Project Portfolio. These Projects are a strategic collection of initiatives crafted to meet industry demands, with a focus on addressing pivotal challenges, seizing emerging opportunities, and fostering innovation throughout the entire value chain, signifying a joint effort towards industry advancement.

A Strategic Vision for Progress

The heart of these projects lies in the Red Meat Industry Strategy 2030, a visionary roadmap that outlines the steps required to elevate the industry’s performance and competitiveness. Recognising the necessity of actionable interventions to translate strategic objectives into tangible outcomes, RMIS has embarked on an ambitious journey to enact meaningful change at every level of the red meat sector.

Diverse and Impactful Initiatives

Spanning a wide spectrum of focus areas, RMIS’s project portfolio encompasses initiatives aimed at enhancing traceability, promoting sustainable farming practices, improving disease management, ensuring meat safety, fostering market access, combating livestock theft, facilitating communication, and driving research and development. The budgeted income for the 2023/2024 period amounts to R44 million and it is made up of the projects set out below. 


1. Recordkeeping Systems Communication and Data Sharing (Traceability):

This project focuses on identifying, capturing, and efficiently sharing relevant traceability and production data in a standardised language, with the objective of championing industry traceability and data sharing to enhance production and trade. 

· Funding: 19% (R7,000,000)


2. Small Scale Farmer Development (LDS Project First Project):

This initiative aims to enhance the commercialisation of small-scale farmers through practical implementation and mentorship. RMIS has been designated as the implementing body for the Land Development Support (LDS) programme on behalf of DALLRD, overseeing a five-year initiative involving 35 farmers and an annual budget of R220 million. The objective is to promote sustainable production practices and facilitate small-scale farmer development through a turn-key offering.

· Funding: Project is Self-Funded


3. Mobile Cattle Processing Units for Small-scale farmers (Inclusive Growth):

The project aims to develop, equip, and manage Mobile Cattle Processing Units to facilitate comprehensive animal processing for the LDS project and to cater to small-scale farmers. By enhancing accessibility to processing facilities, the initiative seeks to improve animal health and economic value. 

· Funding: 8% (R3 000 000)


4. Small-scale farmer Training (Inclusive Growth):

This initiative focuses on providing comprehensive training to small-scale farmers, covering various aspects such as production systems, reproduction, health, grazing, management, finances, and marketing. Additionally, educational content will be developed for secondary school students in collaboration with the Department of Education. The primary objective is to enhance small-scale farmer production and profitability while promoting livestock education at the secondary school level.

· Funding: 14% (R5,400,000)


5. Industry Animal Disease Recording System and Vet Support Services:

Identifying, capturing, analysing, and sharing veterinarian data on national disease occurrence to provide proactive treatment approaches, thereby enabling a national view of animal diseases to address issues promptly. 

· Funding: 10% (R3,700,000)


6. Feedlot Market in FMD Red Zone (Inclusive Growth):

Creating a feedlot market in the red zone to limit cattle movement out of the area for marketing, thus mitigating the spread of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) while creating economic value. 

· Funding: 5% (R2,000,000)


7. Industry Meat Safety Recording System and Vet Support Services:

Identifying, capturing, analysing, and sharing national meat safety data to address concerns, ensure compliance, and promptly recall/address safety issues. 

· Funding: 10% (R4,000,000)


8. SA Red Meat Certification (Market Access, Export):

Providing a value chain certification for meat sold to consumers to ensure biosecurity, animal welfare, and meat safety through a value chain audit process, thereby enhancing market access and export opportunities. 

· Funding: 12% (R4,700,000)


9. Stock Theft:

Providing training to combat livestock theft and facilitate meetings to address theft cases and issues, with the aim of decreasing animal theft and enhancing prosecution of offenders. 

· Funding: 5% (R2,000,000)


10. Production Development through Communication:

Developing content to be communicated to primary producers to increase production, competitiveness, and sustainability, thus enhancing primary production. 

· Funding: 9% (R3,400,000)


11. Consumer Communication and Education through Beef and Lamb SA:

Promoting red meat consumption among consumers by providing scientific and industry feedback and highlighting the importance of red meat in a balanced diet and its preparation.

· Funding: 2% (R700,000)


12. Research & Development:

Amongst other Research and Developing projects focussing on and implementing a beef grading system to enhance quality consistency, adherence to consumer preferences, and unlock premiums locally and internationally. 

· Funding: 8% (R3,300,000)


Collaborative Partnerships

Central to the success of these initiatives are the collaborative partnerships forged by RMIS with government agencies, educational institutions, industry associations, and private sector stakeholders. RMIS seeks to maximise the impact of its projects and effect meaningful change across the entire red meat ecosystem.

Measuring Success: Metrics of Impact

To gauge the effectiveness and impact of its interventions, RMIS has outlined a set of performance metrics, including the number of export markets opened, the volume of commercially slaughtered animals, and the success stories arising from flagship projects such as the Land Development Support (LDS) initiative. These metrics will serve as vital indicators of progress towards the overarching goals of the Red Meat Industry Strategy.

A Step Towards Livestock Traceability: RMIS collaborates with GS1

RMIS collaborates with GS1

In a significant move towards establishing livestock traceability in South Africa, the Red Meat Industry Services (RMIS) has partnered with GS1 South Africa, a member of GS1 global. GS1 is a not-for-profit information standards organisation that facilitates industry collaboration to help improve supply chain visibility and efficiency using GS1 Standards. This collaboration will enhance supply chain management and industry standards. This is a crucial step toward achieving RMIS’s goal of enabling an industry traceability solution to address the recalling of disease outbreaks, sharing of production data throughout the value chain for economic benefit, and propelling the red meat industry towards a 20% export market growth by 2030. By prioritising traceability, RMIS is laying the groundwork to meet these objectives, ensuring the industry’s competitiveness and sustainability locally and in the global market.

“GS1 is excited to collaborate with the Red Meat Industry Service to enhance their traceability capabilities using GLN which is crucial to ensure the robustness of its supply chain and enable them to quickly respond to challenges such as outbreaks of livestock borne diseases by swiftly activating traceability of the affected animals. Ultimately this enhances consumer health and safety.” Says Michele Francis Padayachee, GS1 South Africa Executive.

Dr. Phillip Oosthuizen, RMIS COO, Mr. Renaud de Barbuat, GS1 President & CEO and Mr. Robert Beideman, GS1 CPO celebrating the significant move towards establishing livestock traceability in South Africa.

At the core of livestock traceability lies the ability to accurately identify, number, and map the various locations integral to the movement of livestock. RMIS is now officially collaborating with GS1 South Africa and supported by the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa to facilitate this crucial process by issuing Global Location Numbers (GLNs) to locations across the country. These locations include farms, auction houses, feedlots, and abattoirs, forming a comprehensive network essential for traceability measures.

The issuance of a unique GLN to each location ensures precision and consistency in referencing. These numbers are designed to encode vital information such as GPS coordinates, facilitating seamless traceability. Moreover, GLNs are recognised by recordkeeping systems, governmental bodies, and retail and export sectors, ensuring widespread compatibility and utility.

The ultimate goal of this initiative is to streamline the red meat supply chain, offering a clear and structured map of South Africa’s agricultural livestock landscape. With every farm, auction house, feedlot, and abattoir pinpointed with its own GLN, stakeholders across the supply chain stand to benefit immensely. From farmers to value chain actors, the ability to track and manage the movement of animals efficiently is greatly enhanced.

This collaboration between RMIS and GS1 South Africa represents a significant step forward for the red meat industry in South Africa. By leveraging global standards and innovative technologies, this partnership promises to revolutionise livestock traceability, paving the way for a more resilient and efficient industry landscape. 

RMIS is committed to keeping stakeholders abreast of developments throughout this process, and updates will be shared on the various RMIS information channels:

South Africa’s beef exports to Saudi Arabia are crucial to industry growth.

Article by Wandile Sihlobo, Chief Economist at the Agricultural Business Chamber of SA and author of ‘A Country of Two Agricultures’.

Positive news is hard to come by at most times in South Africa. We hear daily of the difficulties and costs to business the inefficient ports, weakening municipalities, rising crime, and deteriorating roads present. 

Thus, reading the headline, “Saudi Arabia to start South African meat imports as ban ends,” on BLOOMBERG, a news organization, was refreshing. This development means everything is now for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to import beef from South Africa. This comes after several engagements between the South African government and the private sector with Saudi Arabian authorities to unlock this market. 

Industry organizations such as Red Meat Industry Services and private sector stakeholders like Karan BeefSparta Beef, and Beefmaster, amongst others, deserve much credit for this uplifting development on the beef export front.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has not featured prominently in South Africa’s beef export markets in the past, with only small volumes last exported in the early 2000s. The renewed access to this market is critical to South Africa’s ambition to expand beef exports, as the Saudi beef market is sizable and will be worth over US$647 million in 2021, according to data from Trade Map.

About 62% of the Saudi beef imports were frozen beef, while 38% were chilled or fresh beef imports. Some leading suppliers to Saudi Arabia include Brazil, Australia, Pakistan, The US, New Zealand, and Canada. 

Beyond beef, the Saudi meat market is large, with all meat imports valued, on average, at US$1,9 billion annually over the past five years. This means over time, as South Africa increases its production in other meat value chains, Saudi Arabia could remain a strategic country for growing exports.

This positive news of export market development provides some relief when the South African beef industry has faced a challenging operational environment for several reasons. One of the significant challenges was the rise in feed prices since 2020, especially for maize and soybeans. 

The rise in animal feed prices coincided with a worsening financial strain on consumers due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s damaging effects. Thus, we saw a decline in the demand for red meat products as consumers opted for relatively cheaper forms of protein. 

Moreover, the spread of foot-and-mouth disease to six of South Africa’s nine provinces for the first time in history was another challenge for the industry. This brought temporary bans in specific export markets, extending to auctions and livestock movement, mainly cattle, for some time in 2022. 

Fortunately, the feed prices have now softened somewhat. This is in response to large domestic maize and soybean harvests and the easing of global grain prices (irrespective of lingering worries about the Black Sea Grain Deal). 

Therefore, opening beef export opportunities to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia adds to this improving operational environment in the future.

Despite the foot-and-mouth disease challenge, South African beef exports did not collapse. Some markets remained open, although with strict controls. This is evident in South Africa’s beef exports for 2022, which amounted to 28 422 tonnes (albeit down 12% from 2021), according to data from Trade Map. This is only mildly below the ten-year average. 

Fresh beef accounted for 54% of overall exports, while the balance was frozen beef. Within this total figure, a significant decline was recorded in frozen beef exports, which were 12 945 tonnes in 2022, down 24% year-on-year. Meanwhile, fresh beef exports increased by 2% year-on-year to 15 477 tonnes.

The key markets for South Africa’s fresh beef were Kuwait (with a market share of 22%), Jordan (16%), Mozambique (13%), United Arab Emirates (12%), Qatar (9%), Netherlands (4%), Lesotho (3%), Canada (3%), Zimbabwe (3%), Mauritius (3%), and Eswatini (2%). These markets accounted for 90% of South Africa’s fresh beef exports in 2022.

In the case of frozen beef exports, the top export markets for South Africa were Lesotho (16%), China (14%), Nigeria (14%), United Arab Emirates (9%), Mozambique (7%), Kuwait (6%), Egypt (5%), Qatar (4%), United Kingdom (3%), Netherlands (3%), and Jordan (2%). These markets accounted for 82% of South Africa’s frozen beef exports in 2022.

Overall, the broadening of South Africa’s beef export markets is a welcome development and shows the possibilities the country could achieve through collaboration and aligned interests between the government and private sector. 

These efforts of opening key markets such as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia should extend to other commodities, mainly fruits and wine, that are eager to expand the export markets while retaining the existing markets in the EU, the African continent, Asia and the Americas, amongst other regions. Importantly, addressing the daily challenges at the ports, roads, and municipalities is equally essential for the success of this export initiative.

– Wandile Sihlobo is chief economist at the Agricultural Business Chamber of SA and author of ‘A Country of Two Agricultures‘.

South African Red Meat Achieves Milestone with Opening of Saudi Arabian Market

Pretoria, South Africa, 11 January 2024

In a ground-breaking development for the South African Red Meat industry, the Red Meat Industry Services (RMIS), working hand in hand with the Department of Agriculture Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) and the Red Meat Abattoir Association (RMAA), has successfully secured the official confirmation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) opening its doors to the export of South African Red Meat.

This achievement, a result of more than a year of strategic engagement between the above-mentioned role players, is poised to reshape the landscape of South African red meat exports. Recognising the potential for industry growth, the Department of Agriculture Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) actively engaged RMIS to drive a unified effort towards opening the Saudi Arabian market.

In a noteworthy incident, premature reports in August 2023 about the potential opening of the KSA market led to a surge in weaner calf prices, a testament to the positive industry sentiment surrounding this development.

Addressing the timing of the announcement, RMIS clarified that the news reported in August was a preliminary announcement, indicating the government’s intent to trade. The subsequent months saw collaborative efforts by DALRRD, RMAA, and RMIS, alongside identified facilities, navigating challenges to secure necessary approvals and protocols. This rigorous process distinguished the official announcement from the initial, unverified information. 

The Veterinary Health Certificate as negotiated and thus agreed by DALRRD, has now been circulated to the respective provinces. The process of including additional facilities to this export market will be clarified with the SFDA as a matter of priority once export has commenced.

The success of this initiative is rooted in the Red Meat Strategy 2030, a collective vision established in 2019 by industry organisations, including RMIS. Envisaging a 20% export target for the red meat industry by 2030, the strategy outlines key cross-cutting factors such as industry restructuring, a unified voice, public-private partnerships, compartments, and veterinary services.

The opening of the Saudi Arabian market aligns seamlessly with RMIS’s 2030 Strategy, bringing the industry closer to reaching the ambitious export target. Furthermore, the Saudi Arabian market shows interest in four red meat products from the South African farming community, namely beef, lamb, mutton, and goat.

The unified voice presented to the government had a profound impact on the smooth progression of the project, showcasing the industry’s adaptability to meet strategic goals. This collaborative spirit exemplifies the industry’s commitment to navigating challenges and driving meaningful change. We appreciate the dedication of the Department in handling the challenges with this process and the opportunity for the industry to work closely with the Department in providing market access to the South African Red Meat industry.

RMIS gets new Chief Operation Officer

New appointment

The Red Meat Industry Services welcomes Dr Phillip Oosthuizen and is optimistic and excited for the future of the red meat industry with him in our team. 
Dr Phillip Oosthuizen obtained his BSc Animal Science and Agricultural Economics degree from the University of the Free State and furthered his studies in Agricultural Economics to receive his Honours, Master and Doctoral degrees. His MSc title, ‘’The profit-maximising feeding period for different beef breeds,’’ and PhD title, ‘’The effect of growth promoters on beef profitability, quality, and consumer preferences: a value chain approach’’. 
Dr Phillip Oosthuizen started his career as an Agriculture Business Banker with Nedbank, whereafter he headed the Sernick Group’s Research and Innovation division. His work focused on the Red Meat value chain, including primary cattle production (stud & commercial), Phase-C cattle testing, feedlot, feed factory, abattoir, retail, exports, technology development, emerging farmer development, and public relation. 
He has a unique combination of scientific knowledge and practical experience throughout the red meat value chain through his exposure within the diversified Sernick value chain, feedlot and meat quality research and implementation and being a farmer himself.

Official Document

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