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Bringing home the beef

Apr 19th 2012, 08:09

Bringing home the beef

Namibia, in southern Africa and Uruguay, in South America may not be making a huge blip on the global radar in terms of economic size and stature, yet both, in their respective ways, are making significant waves in the meat industry.

With animal health and welfare and the production of disease-free meat featuring high on many international markets’ selection criteria, both countries are developing reputations for their supply of excellent meat from top-quality animals. Both advocate natural methods of farming and dismiss the use of growth hormones.

Uruguay’s meat exports leapt by 21% in value in the first 11 months of 2011, compared with the same period the year before, totaling about 373,548 tons, according the country’s National Meat Board (INAC). About 80% of the country’s beef is exported and represents 6% of its GDP.

Namibia is famous for the taste and tenderness of its meat and also exports about 80% of its production. “Agriculture contributes approximately 6% to the Gross Domestic Product of the country. 80% of the agricultural GDP originates from the livestock sector. The value of the industry is growing annually,” says Paul Strydom, General Manager of The Meat Board of Namibia (Nammic).

But how do these relatively small industries increase the exposure of their quality products to more buyers and traders?

Both Nammic and INAC have confirmed their places at this year’s Africa Big Seven, the continent’s leading food and beverage trade exhibition, which will provide them with vast opportunity for networking and forging business relationships with new international markets.

“AB7 provides a showcase for Namibia’s meat products. I’d absolutely recommend it to others in the meat industry as it offers the opportunity to explore new business ventures,” says Strydom.

Africa’s Big Seven is a ‘seven-in-one’ exhibition covering the entire food and beverage industry from ‘crop to shop’. In 2011, exhibitors came from 32 countries, showcasing over 3 000 product items in more than 431 categories.

The event is co-located with the Southern African Trade Exhibition (SAITEX), dedicated to non-food and beverage products. The combined events attracted nearly 15,000 visitors from 54 countries in 2011. To see more about AB7 and SAITEX, view the 2011 expo video on YouTube – simply go to and in the top search window type ‘Saitex and Africa’s Big Seven 2011’.

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Find out more about Africa’s Big Seven, here

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