Producers look forward to a good year

He said the year-on-year producer price of beef increased by 10% in 2012. However, the average producer price for sheep and lamb declined by 10%. “Coupled with the fact that the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) predicted a 20% increase in the demand for sheep and lamb and a 25% demand increase for beef up to 2012, we are very positive about the future,” said Van Zyl.

International red meat prices were currently relatively constant and if imports were managed correctly, it would not have a negative impact on local producer prices. The RPO was also positive that South Africa’s status as a foot-and-mouth disease-free zone would be reinstated in 2013. The industry was losing about R4 billion per year after SA lost its status following the outbreak of the disease in 2011, according to Van Zyl.

He also said that, among others, the statutory levy paid by red meat producers would have to be reconsidered in 2013. “We had a series of talks with the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on poor service delivery by the department in 2012. He also said increased communication between South Africa, Namibia and Botswana was of the essence for better understanding between the red meat industries.