Red meat to remain under pressure

Gerhard Schutte, CEO of the Red Meat Producers’ Organisation (RPO), said the pressure on red meat production profitability is expected to continue in 2009.
Issue date : 2-9 January 2009

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Gerhard Schutte, CEO of the Red Meat Producers’ Organisation (RPO), said the pressure on red meat production profitability is expected to continue in 2009.
One of the RPO’s most important tasks will be to empower members with enough support for sustainable production in the light of the current global recession. Augmenting production is an absolute necessity for their economic survival.

“The debate on the tariff for imported red meat will continue,” Schutte said. “Recent studies indicate the 40% tariff doesn’t provide any protection for local red meat production and only levels the playing field. That the benefits of the so-called low-cost or tariff-free meat seldom, if ever, reach the consumer will also be addressed in 2009.”

The possible impact of the Namibian Small Stock Marketing Scheme on the local industry remains a major issue for the RPO. Schutte said the South African small stock industry can’t afford any unfair competition. High input costs are expected to continue in 2009. “The decrease of the producers’ share of the consumer rand is of great concern,” said Schutte. “Our challenge is to streamline the value chain and make it more effective to benefit both the consumer and the producer.

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“Agriculture worldwide has been elevated significantly on the political agenda because of the food crisis. We see it as crucial that our government does the same. State investment is needed now for the expansion and development of both the commercial and emerging aspects of the red met industry.” – Annelie Coleman

Annelie Coleman represents Farmer’s Weekly in the Free State, North West and Northern Cape. Agriculture is in her blood. She grew up on a maize farm in the Wesselsbron district where her brother is still continuing with the family business. Annelie is passionate about the area she works in and calls it ‘God’s own country’. She’s particularly interested in beef cattle farming, especially with the indigenous African breeds. She’s an avid reader and owns a comprehensive collection of Africana covering hunting in colonial Africa, missionary history of same period, as well as Rhodesian literature.