Latest meat levy figures get industry thumbs-up

The latest livestock and meat statutory levies, recently signed into law by agriculture minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson, have been met with the full approval of the main roleplayers in the country’s single largest agricultural sector.

The latest levies will, as usual, be administered by the Red Meat Industry Forum (RMIF) and will be used to fund functions crucial to the sector’s development and sustainability. The statutory levies on cattle, sheep, goats, meat products, processed pork, hides and skins haven’t increased in five years, RMIF chairperson Dave Ford told Farmer’s Weekly.

The new average increase was 24%, a figure that had been calculated and accepted by the many key industry roleplayers making up the RMIF. The amount available for research and development has since grown from R700 000 to R3 million. Other important functions have also received a boost in funding, said Ford.

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“All the service providers involved in carrying out these functions are strictly audited every year to make sure that the money from the levies is being used properly,” he explained. The minister had agreed that at least 70% of the levy funds should be used for activities relating “to consumer assurance, consumer communication and education, research and development, industry liaison, production development, and compliance to legislation,” said the Government Gazette magazine.

It also stated that no more than 10% of levy funds could be used for administration purposes, and that about 20% of levy funds would have to be allocated toward transformation efforts in the red meat industry. The statutory measure came into operation from 5 November and will be valid for the next four years. Joemat-Pettersson did, however, envisage that the current levy figures would be increased in three years’ time. 

For more information, see the Government Gazette (11 November 2010, No 33751), or visit the RMIF website at