Stricter protocols will protect SA’s beef industry
19 February 2020: Beefmaster Group, a leading specialist producer and exporter of quality beef products, welcomes the recent announcement by the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, that the blanket ban on gathering animals is now lifted, following an outbreak of foot-and-mouth-disease (FMD) in 2019. This will come with stricter pre-conditions for the auctions of livestock.
“This is a positive step for the beef industry, and we applaud government’s announcement in this regard. We are also pleased to note government’s progress on implementing more formal traceability structures through the Livestock Identification and Traceability System (LITS-SA), which will protect the beef industry and give us access to more global markets,” says Roelie van Reenen, supply chain executive at Beefmaster Group.
Beefmaster Group has since the outbreak of FMD called for greater industry cooperation from all players in protecting South Africa’s R81bn livestock industry by ensuring a healthier herd.
According to the recent announcement by the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, auctions will only be conducted under stringent conditions and all livestock agents must be registered with the Agricultural Produce Agents Council.
Van Reenen says that that Beefmaster Group welcomes this announcement. Beefmaster Group will, provided that current circumstances remain, continue to work with those who are looking for routes to market for their cattle and buy live animals from auctions and livestock agents only if the following conditions are met:
- Agents and auctioneers and all other parties trading with livestock (or livestock agents) must be registered, as per the conditions set by government, with the Agricultural Produce Agents Council (APAC) and adhere to the code of conduct and registration procedure set out by APAC;
- Livestock agents must be able to provide health attestation from a qualified and authorised veterinarian for cattle. This is a health certificate certifying that the animal has been inspected and complies with specific conditions;
- Livestock agents must be able to provide a declaration from the animal’s owner (farmer) that cattle are healthy and disease-free;
- Livestock agents must comply with the Stock Theft Act (Act 57 of 1959) and the Animal Identification Act (Act 6 of 2002), which handle the buying and selling as well as the transportation of cattle, and;
- The auction house or livestock agent must have a bio-security protocol in place and be able to show proof thereof.
“We need to take responsibility and accountability as an industry collective to prioritise the health of the herd. Measures such as these will improve the bio-security of the country and the health of the animal economy, which will in turn ensure that the meat industry remains profitable, a stable source of revenue, and continues to provide job security,” concludes van Reenen.
About Beefmaster PTY Ltd
Beefmaster PTY Ltd is a leading specialist producer of quality beef products to South Africa, the Middle- and Far East, and beyond. We are one of the largest privately-owned beef production companies in South Africa. Beefmaster is involved in the entire value chain, from rearing and farming cattle to delivering meat-based products to customers. This requires many fundamentals that are not traditionally agricultural, such as fleet management of road trucks, earth-moving equipment, cattle health and feed, meat cutting and packaging, and fully-equipped workshops
We believe that all cattle breeds have the potential to deliver exceptional beef products. We forge strong relationships with both established and emerging farmers to access a variety of cattle, regardless of breed, helping farmers boost the quality and sustainability of their herds by offering training, mentorship programmes and offtake agreements, amongst others.
Our state-of-the-art technology and world-class facilities allow us to customise and “produce to order” for some of the biggest players in the food industry. Our exceptional team of highly-trained staff, operating in line with the highest possible safety standards, enables us to be a trusted supplier and partner. Our traceability system allows us to track and trace our beef throughout the supply chain. This means we can confidently promise a quality end product. We commit resources to not only our staff but also local communities, with a view to sustainably and positively impact the environment in which we do business.