African first as Namibian beef consignment leaves for US
RUSTENBURG - Namibia's first beef consignment leaves for the Unites State on Wednesday, making it the first African country to export beef to the lucrative United States market.
"The exportation of Namibian beef to the United States of America is a great achievement in the advancement of our economic diplomacy," deputy prime minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah said at the launch of the celebration ceremony on Wednesday morning.
She said she was proud of the entire Namibian agricultural industry for reaching the milestone.
"Today's occasion signifies how ties between Namibia and the United State of America continue to be strengthened through different bilateral agreements," she said.
Nandi-Ndaitwah said the Namibian government had initiated negotiations on the export of boneless meat products to the USA in 2002.
"Today, 18 years later, we are able to finally export meat to this big US market...Namibia is proud of this achievement."
The country will be exporting boneless raw beef products such as primal cuts, chuck and blade and beef trimming to America.
It's projected volumes were expected to start at about 862 metric tonnes, increasing to about 5 670 metric tonnes by 2021.
Namibia was granted access to the American market in 2016.
In 2017, MeatCo, the country's largest meat exporter, underwent a public health and assurance audit by the US via its Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS), which found it to be fully compliant.
The audit, conducted every 18 months or two years, was carried out to verify if Namibia was compliant with the required standards.
Namibia also exports beef to China.African News Agency