Red Meat Industry Strategy 2030

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Red Meat Industry Strategy 2030

The South African red meat industry has the potential to grow by more than 20% above a “business as usual” scenario, adding more than R 12 billion in real terms to South Africa’s agricultural GDP per annum by 2030. Beef, which traditionally constitutes around 80% of total formal red meat production value, will likely contribute the bulk of this value. With approximately 40-50% of the national herd in the hands of communal and smallholder farmers, the sector can become a dynamic driver of inclusive growth, rural development, employment, and wealth creation for more than 1 million house-holds involved in livestock production, largely in the poorest and most neglected regions of the country. However, any form of growth for the developed commercial or the struggling informal sector will have to overcome limitations that include sporadic Foot-and-Mouth Disease outbreaks, insufficient and failing public sector animal health and disease services, constrained implemen-tation of sanitary and phytosanitary systems, collapsing vaccine development and provision capacities, and lack of an enforcea-ble identification and traceability system. Many of these limitations fall under the responsibility of the State and need to be addressed by the State, but it is also true that due to limited funds and capaci-ty, it is unlikely that the State will be able to provide more compre-hensive and effective services on its own in the near future. For the industry to flourish, to the benefit of large-scale and small-scale farmers and South Africa as a whole, industry and gov-ernment will have to collaborate. Public-private partnerships are required, where resources will have to be aligned on common prioritised goals to advance the industry. Cohesion, leadership, structure, and diligent execution of a coordinated strategic plan are required to propel the industry from a fragile marginal surplus producing sub-sector, exporting roughly 5% of beef production, to inclusively growing the sector towards a sustainable and competi-tive industry that exports closer to 20% of beef production by 2030, with food security benefits for local consumers.

Although the red meat statutory levy provides some form of finan-cial support, it is important to note that even a substantial increase in the levy will not result in sufficient funds to cover the full spectrum of public good services required to make the red meat industry a profitable, growing, and inclusive industry. To this end, red meat value chain actors and all spheres of government have to reach strategic alignment concerning priority actions and services, roles, and funding. The process of developing the South African Red Meat Industry Strategy 2030 followed a pragmatic approach of unpacking the basic interactions in the red meat value chain not only from a functional/operational perspective but also from an institutional perspective, where the general sentiments and interaction of role-players in the industry were taken into consideration, coupled with existing national policy frameworks as a guideline. Ground-level problems and opportunities were captured and used to compile a common vision, with practical objectives and the proposed critical structures & interventions required to implement the Red Meat Industry’s Strategy 2030. The approach towards developing the strategic document was based on a process of backward integration of key delivery dates and milestones for the industry and policy alignment, essentially providing the “what” needs to be done by “when” and to some degree by “whom”.

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