Making it the first country in Africa eligible to export beef to the US, the export deal is part of the African Growth and Opportunity Act.
After undergoing several audits, health and safety protocols since Namibia became eligible in 2016, the consignment was the first official commercial shipment to the US. This followed samples that were sent to the US for various laboratory tests to ensure all safety aspects were adhered to.
Under the final approval agreements, Meatco will be exporting boneless raw beef products such as primal cuts and beef trimmings as well as chuck and blade. The approval will enable Meatco to send 860 tonnes in the first year and by the fifth year, Namibia will be able to send up to 5,700 tonnes per year.
The consignment, which left Namibia via the Walvis Bay Port, is expected to enter US via the Philadelphia Port.
Namibia’s livestock industry is worth approximately N$3.9 billion annually, according to Meat Board 2019 statistics, with Meatco’s share around 50%.