The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (Safda) has approved the lifting of the ban on meat and red meat products from South Africa.
This follows inspections conducted by Safda in June at South African abattoirs and feedlots to determine their compliance with market access protocols and halaal certification.
President Cyril Ramaphosa paid a state visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in October last year.
On the margins of the visit, Agriculture Minister Thoko Didiza and Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel, along with South African meat industry stakeholders, met Khalid Al Falih, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Investment, and Safda representatives.
A South African task team and a Saudi group was established to facilitate the market access protocol for meat and red meat products from South Africa into Saudi Arabia.
Patel welcomed the lifting of the ban.
“The halaal meat market globally is huge. South Africa already has a strong presence in markets like the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia. The Saudi market is valued at over $5 billion (about R96bn). South Africa offers a premium quality meat products and we look forward to exporting our meat products. We will work with industry and retailers through store promotions and exhibiting at upcoming events in Saudi Arabia.”
Didiza said this achievement did not come easily.
“It is the result of a lot meetings and preparations that our team put in. The fact that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia granted us this market access soon after their audit attests to the safety of our beef, our intact biosecurity as well as the compliant state of our abattoirs and feedlots,” she said.
“We are hoping to also have the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia also grant access to our poultry meat, which they’re still assessing.”