Meatco slaughtered 7 406 cattle within the first month of its peak slaughter period, which runs from May to August.

The slaughter numbers for May saw an increase from 527 in April and 425 cattle in March.

“For June, July and August, Meatco is expected to operate at 100% full capacity,” the company said.

It said slaughter bookings for the peak period have also surpassed the 12 000 cattle target, with July’s booking already recording 10 000 cattle.

However, Meatco said the high numbers of animals slaughtered and the anticipated numbers going up until August are not abnormal.

“This is because Meatco is not in an emergency drought situation and is not in slaughter mode as it was in the 2019 case.”

Quality matters

The company said Meatco’s management has developed a plan to increase slaughter operations by aligning the deliveries of livestock procurement with the Windhoek Abattoir’s, securing competitive buyers and aligning all aspects of the logistical value chain.

“Paramount for Meatco’s management currently is to ensure consistent slaughter of top-quality cattle, pay producers a competitive price timeously and maximise realisation for top-quality beef produced.”

It said the quality of the products remains non-negotiable, and the monitoring of carcass quality occurs every week.

“The livestock procurement and production department can report that currently, cattle quality is well within all required parameters.”

Meatco said livestock producers delivering slaughter cattle to its export abattoir should be congratulated due to their excellent premium product.

Top achievements

The company said for May, 80.6% of all the cattle delivered had a fat grade between two and four.

The gender distribution indicated that 57.9% of the cattle slaughtered were oxen, while 99.4% of the cattle delivered for slaughter were 100% healthy.

“This can be evaluated as a remarkable achievement.”

In April, the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) said a second slaughter team started working at the abattoir as of May, while Saturdays will also be added for slaughtering to ensure that as many cattle as possible can be accommodated.

Meatco’s two slaughter teams have a capacity to slaughter approximately 480 cattle per day, which could possibly be increased by another 5%.

Meatco said it expects the peak slaughter period to conclude in September, which will lead to a sharp decline in slaughter cattle numbers.

“The continuation of average to higher slaughter numbers is important for Meatco’s profitability. Hence the implementation of the Feeders’ (private feedlotters’) Contract Concept.”

Continued demand

It said the private feeder lot deliveries will provide the backbone of the quantities to be slaughtered from September to January next year.

The export market requires products on a month-to-month basis throughout the year, so there is a need to ensure the availability of raw material throughput.

Earlier this year, Meatco said its goal was to slaughter 50 000 cattle in the 2023 financial year.

The company slaughtered 35 000 cattle during the 2021–2022 financial year due to a scarcity of raw materials.

[Source – Republikein]

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