Welcome to the February 2018 issue of the Red Meat Producers Organisation's Newsletter
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RPO has two new Vice-Chairman

The National Red Meat Producers’ Organisation this week appointed two new Vice Chairmen at its Executive Council meeting in Bloemfontein.
Mr James Farber of the Northern Cape, who used to be second Vice Chairman, is now the first Vice Chairman in the place of Dr Pieter Prinsloo, who was not available for re-election. Mr Willie Clack from Gauteng has been elected as second Vice Chairman of the organisation.
Mr Koos van der Ryst of the Northern Cape stays on as Chairman of the National RPO. This position is filled at the organisation’s Congress, which is presented every two years.
The Executive Council at its meeting adopted a motion of thanks to Dr Prinsloo for the enormous contribution that he has made, not only towards the RPO, but also towards the meat industry in general. He indicated that due to personal and professional reasons, he is not further available for service on the RPO’s Executive Council, although he remains a valued member of the RPO.

RPO positions himself for the future

The national RPO during a strategic planning session positioned itself to represent the farmer's interest in a sustainable red meat industry to promote food security in South Africa.
The RPO Executive Council and key role players in the agricultural industry attended a strategic planning session in Bloemfontein, where in-depth discussions were conducted regarding the core role that the RPO should fulfil in future to ensure sustainability in the total red meat value chain. Dr. John Purchase, Chief Executive Officer : Agbiz, who facilitated the session, said: "With the changing agricultural environment, now is the ideal time to determine what the RPO's role should be in future."
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Latest Stock Theft Statistics released

The following stock theft statistics has been released by the South African Police Services:
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Service provider for meat inspection appointed

AFS has been assigned as service provider Under the Meat Safety Act, Act 40 of 2000 to provide a meat inspection service under the Meat Inspection Scheme established in terms of Section 12 of the Act in order to enhance meat safety practices at abattoirs and establishments regulated under the Act throughout the Republic.

Low pre-natal red meat intake tied to kids' substance abuse

Eating little or no red meat during pregnancy has been linked to substance use in offspring in new research findings.

The cohort study of more than 5 000 adolescents showed that children of mothers who consumed less meat during pregnancy were at significantly greater risk for alcohol and tobacco use by the age of 15 years and were 2.5 times more likely to consume cannabis, compared to their counterparts whose mothers ate meat daily while pregnant.

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Positive outlook for weather conditions

Farmers in the summer rainfall areas of South Africa can look forward to the positive weather and rainfall conditions of the past year to continue into the new year.
However, the south-western winter rainfall regions are unlikely to see relief from the crippling drought this summer and will have to wait until winter 2018 to learn their fate, according to Dr Johan Malherbe, in conjunction with AgriSeker.
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Insect and tick transmitted diseases widely reported

Although rainfall had not been abundant in all areas insect and tick transmitted diseases had been widely reported, according to the monthly report on livestock disease trends as informally reported by veterinarians belonging to the Ruminant Veterinary Association of South Africa (RuVASA), a group of the South African Veterinary Association.
 The following insect transmitted diseases were reported:
  • Lumpy skin disease
  • Three day stiff sickness
  • Blue tongue
  • Rift Valley Fever
  • Wesselsbron
  • Nagana.
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Production norms for boer goats in the grass-bush communities of the eastern cape.
Of ruminant livestock, the Boer goat is known to be one of the most efficient in reproductive performance and also having perhaps the greatest potential for further improvement. On many farms though, Boer goats are kept only as a supporting enterprise managed extensively and therefore does may be unable to raise multiple twins. Because of high mortality rates, a solution could be to select only for twins rather than other multiple births. However, this appears to be a step backward because of the potential major economic advantage of marketing multiple kids, which then suggests that the rearing ability of the dam under extensive conditions should be addressed in selection and supplementary feeding. With this as background it is interesting to see the baseline performance of does managed extensively in the grass-bush areas at the Adelaide Research Centre.
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RMIF concerned about listeriosis

The Red Meat Industry Forum (RMIF) is exceedingly concerned that lives have been lost due to Listeriosis.

In a letter to the SABC, the RMIF expressed its dissatisfaction with the fact that all references made in their news broadcasts are to the Sovereign Foods Pretoria poultry abattoir, which has been closed due to non-compliance to health standards, while SABC channels persist in showing images of cattle and packaged beef products which to date have never been implicated.

The RMIF requested that the SABC immediately desist from showing these images which misrepresentation will confuse consumers as to the safety of meat products which have never been in question and can lead to financial losses to the meat industry.

The Forum considers this is a very serious matter indeed and unless immediately rectified, the legal route will be followed, the RMIF said.

Cattle farmers can save the planet

Watch the following video to see how extensive cattle producers can do their bit to save the planet:

A closer look at vendor declarations

The purpose of vendor declarations (VDs) is to alert buyers to the bio-security risks of buying sheep for sale, to help these farmers avoid inadvertent introduction of Ovine Johne’s Disease (OJD), according to Prof Gareth Bath, convener of the Small Stock Health Advisory Body.
he principle, once established as standard practice, can be extended to other diseases that can also easily be overlooked at sales. VDs entails the following :-
  • It is not the same as a certificate or guarantee.
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SA food of the cheapest in the world

The world’s population is expected to grow from 7,4 billion people in 2017, to 7,8 billion in 2022. The average annual increase in the world’s population is around 88 million people, according to ABSA’s 2017/2018 agricultural outlook.

South Africa’s population increased to 55,9 million people in 2016, at an average annual rate of 1,8%.

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Strong international demand for beef

Internationally, strong market demand for beef in the short term may continue to add support to prices, according to ABSA Agri Trends.
Domestically, the outlook for livestock prices remains bullish in line with increased spending going into the festive season.
New Zealand steers traded mostly lower over the week of 14 December at 1.60% lower 5.54NZ$/kg and cows traded 1.85% lower at 4.25NZ$/kg compared to the previous week. In the US, beef prices for the week were mostly higher as follows: Topside traded 0.30% lower at $205.37/cwt. Rump was 2.64% higher at $310.50/cwt and strip loin was 2.72% higher at $479.77/cwt. Chuck traded 4.23% lower at $202.15/cwt. Brisket traded 0.87% higher at $223.02/cwt. The carcass equivalent price was 0.20% higher at $267.55cwt.
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Global lamb levels are low

Internationally, low levels of global lamb inventory are expected to support strong prices in 2018, according to ABSA Agri Trends.
Locally, the overall outlook for lamb and mutton points to strong prices as improved seasonal demand and the warmer temperatures are supportive to outdoor grilling. Prices are to be supported in the short term by increased buying during the festive season. In January, prices normally lose some ground, following increased spending/consumption during the festive season and as schools re-open.
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Lamb and Mutton SA consumer education 2018: It’s the year of the terroir and we need our producers’ help!

The Way Nature Intended”- This is Lamb and Mutton SA’s slogan and the foundation of all of our consumer education activities. In 2018 we want to take the “Terroir” theme to new heights but we need the help of our producers!
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