Guest Contributor | Feb 27, 2024 | 0
Farm Assured Namibian Meat Scheme names producer of the year
The Farm Assured Namibian Meat Scheme (FAN Meat) office announced the producer of the year last week after conducting on-site farm inspections of 62 local producers delivering livestock to export-approved abattoirs.
This year, Gero Schonecke, who won a prize of N$5500, was honoured for his exceptional record-keeping, sound farm management practices, animal welfare standards upheld, livestock identification, and good agricultural practices. Schonecke was announced the producer of the year at a ceremony in Windhoek on Friday.
On an annual basis, FAN Meat of the Livestock and Livestock Products Board of Namibia conducts desktop and on-site audits of producers to verify compliance with FAN Meat rules and standards.
“To recognize the effort invested by producers, it was decided to identify and reward a producer of the year. The on-site audits focused on record-keeping, as well as animal welfare standards as an important international market requirement.”
Besides, FAN Meat is a farm assurance scheme giving assurance to international consumers of Namibian meat regarding the wholesomeness and safety of Namibian meat.
“The scheme was developed in partnership with the Livestock and Livestock Products Board and the Directorate of Veterinary Services and was declared a national scheme in 1998. The FAN Meat scheme assures that livestock were raised and handled per international animal welfare standards, that livestock never received any growth promotors, and that livestock are traceable back to the farm of origin,” according to FAN Meat.
Meanwhile, Schonecke said he was thrilled to win the prize money. “It is important to note that this is a team effort, and I want to commend the dedicated, hard-working, creative workers on the farm as this wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for their input,” Schonecke said.
The Livestock and Livestock Products Board hopes to motivate all producers to maintain the rules and regulations of livestock production in Namibia as set out in relevant legislation as well as the rules and standards of FAN Meat in the interest of the meat and livestock industry of Namibia.
Schonecke, a fourth-generation farmer, grew up on the farm Ombona in the Kalkfeld area. He started farming on Elshorst as a Farm Manager in 2010 and took over the reins of Ombona in 2020. He mainly farms with Bonsmara and on Ombona with Simmentaler and Simmentaler/Brahman crossings.
The cattle herd is closed, and the farm only breeds oxen and heifers from top bulls, vaccinated in compliance with regulations. They marked every animal with the Fanmeat identification, and in addition to the official tagging, each animal has a farm ID number tattooed in the ear to allow for backtracking dating back to 1970, and the farm adheres to strict tagging and vaccinations.