Cost cutting, better supply, more exports and more markets – Meatco fleshes out turn-around strategy
Meatco has big plans to invest in so-called backward integration in 2018, industry jargon to supplement their raw stock from feedlots to ensure optimal operation of their abattoirs and grow their export output.
This week, in a special year-end message, the statutory meat processor’s board said they have made good progress during 2017 to implement an optimisation strategy which includes, amongst others, cost cutting, enhanced supply, export volume growth, and penetrating new markets.
“With the slaughter industry having had a difficult year, due to abattoirs in Namibia battling to compete with South African parity prices, supply of raw material to the abattoir decreased. Several plans are however underway to counteract this. Existing backward integration initiatives were investigated and received attention and additional funding is sourced to expand these capabilities,” the board said.
Meatco is constituted and operates under an act of Parliament which is the source of the five-year wrangle between the company’s members and the government.
“There is ample evidence that we are moving forward on the course that we have set ourselves, as a new Board, almost a year ago to transform the corporation into an efficient business unit, providing clients and customers with the best possible service in the market, managing our costing structures, building and fostering our marketing brand and to contribute in safeguarding the Namibian economy,” the board stated.
Fleshing out the detail of their self-imposed turn-around strategy, the board said it will introduce a new producer bonus scheme as from 01 February next year that will focus on longer-term incentives. It will be broadly based on a combination of cattle numbers, quality and merit points.
“In a profoundly challenging year, particular highlights include the fixed forward pricing contract to offer a secure price to the producer; additional feedlot facilities [for] consistent throughput at our export abattoir and a new producer portal on the Meatco website to ease access to prices and marking trends,” the board noted.
Alluding to its constant battle against live exports, the company said “One of the targets of this year was to optimise the returns realised from meat sales, which have been successful according to sales revenue increases. Meatco operates in a unique business environment with almost unlimited access to sophisticated international markets however supply side constraints for raw materials on a consistent basis, are the biggest challenge.”
In this regard, the board informed the company’s members, suppliers and producers that markets in the United States, Japan, Russia and China were explored resulting in the first pilot shipment of redmeat to Hong Kong.
The board announced that it is still looking for a new Chief Executive whose primary mandate will be to drive the turn-around strategy for profitability, with dynamism and flexibility in an ever-changing local and global business environment.
Pictured are the Board members of the Meat Corporation of Namibia, in front from the left, Dr. D Van Schalkwyk , Ms. S Kasheeta, (Chairperson) and Dr. M Namundjebo-Tilahun. In the back, Mr. S Shakumu, Mr. I Ngangane, Mr. S Oosthuizen, Mr. M Mwilima, (Vice-Chair) Mr. R Kubas and Mr. E Beukes.