Meatco awaits labelling approval before US exports kick off
Meatco’s export abattoir in Windhoek was compliant for exports to the United States after a public health and assurance audit was conducted by American health officials through the Directorate of Veterinary Services in Namibia. The plant was certified compliant with all food processing and health regulations for import into the US.
Although Namibia was granted commercial access to the American market in 2016, the country is still waiting for final approval on the labelling of its products before exports to the USA can commence.
“It should be understood that product labelling approval is not part of the market access process. It is a separate, continuous procedural process completed with each product. This means that for every new product developed hereafter, we will have to get their labelling approval as well,” Meatco’s Executive: Quality Assurance, Rosa Katjivena said.
Once exports to the US start, Katjivena said, Meatco intends to market boneless raw beef products such as primal cuts, chuck-and-blade and beef trimming.
As a food business operator, Meatco was audited at plant level by a Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS) auditor. This inspection was conducted under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which is responsible for the commercial supply of meat, correct labelling and packaging in that country.
The audit allows for American authorities to verify that Namibia remains in compliance with maintaining their required standards. This routine audit is conducted on an 18-month to 2-year basis.