The demand for beef products globally are showing strong momentum. South Africa is in a unique position to take advantage and grow the country’s beef industry and increase its exports. According Beefmaster Group CEO Louw van Reenen, a concerted effort from the industry, government and farmers is required to realise its growth potential.
Van Reenen joins us on this episode of Farmer’s Inside Track to talk about the growth opportunities for the beef industry.
According to the South African Red Meat Producers’ Organisation, South Africa currently exports 4% of its total beef production. Van Reenen says this indicates that there is an opportunity for the country to grow its beef exports.
“[The exported beef] are the more expensive cuts which is high in revenue, but when compared locally it is very low volumes.
“We foresee that there would be growth if we get more markets open. The industry needs to work together with government, and farmers need to work together to produce more beef and lamb,” Van Reenen explains.
The Beefmaster Group forecasts growth opportunity on the export front for beef and lamb. However, for this to materialise the beef industry would need to have a strong traceability system to gain access to better markets in other countries, Van Reenen says.
“We are not balanced on the carcass because we sell some products locally, like the four quarter cuts, whilst we can only export some of the hind quarter cuts to [other] countries. It will be to our benefit if we can get more markets open to be able to get a better realised price for the whole carcass,” he explains.
Opportunities for SA at Gulfood trade fair
After attending this year’s Gulfood trade fair in Dubai, local beef producers hope to unlock increased trade for Mzansi from key markets like the United Arab Emirates.
According to Van Reenen participating in the Gulfood trade fair can change the game for local beef producers with their eyes set on trade to key international markets.
“[The trade fair] was a very well attended. There were a lot of new businesses that attended the fair.
“This fair is very old, about 27 years old. It really is a food show for the whole of the Middle East. We could see that there is a high demand and hopefully we’ll get a lot of business from attending that fair,” Van Reenen says.
He adds that they would like to see that there are more export businesses involved from South Africa.
Other podcast highlights:
The best agriculture news podcast on the planet also features other highlights for the agricultural sector this week:
- A guide to growing kiwifruit for beginner farmers by Jonathan Trusler, chairperson of the South African Kiwi Growers Association.
- This week experts share ways to do source agricultural finance and investment, which a vital part of running any agribusiness.
- Book of the week: Time to Think: Listening to Ignite the Human Mind by Nancy Kline is selected by you, our listeners.
- Farmer tip of the week: This week’s farmer tip comes from Bertus van Heerden, chief economist at the Milk Producers Organisation.
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