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.