Welcome to the January 2020 issue of the Red Meat Producers Organisation Newsletter
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Visit to Botswana

A delegation of the RPO recently visited the Ghanzi district of Botswana where meetings were held with representatives of the country’s national agricultural union, farmers and veterinarians.


  • There are 1.1 million cattle in the green are (FMD free zone) of Botswana.
  • The offtake of cattle is between 7 and 20 %. 
  • It is clear that the Ghanzi area took the initiative to be the first to benefit from the opening of the border. The western part of the green area follows.
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RPO support FMD measures

"The Red Meat Producers' Organisation (RPO) supports the extremely drastic measures to place a temporary ban on, among other things, auctions and shows of cloven-hoofed animals as announced in the Government Gazette of 4 December 2019," said Mr Koos van der Ryst, Chairman of the national RPO.
"These are preventative measures and not punitive measures," said Mr Van der Ryst.
The prevention measures have a drastic impact on commercial and developing producers, as well as the rest of the red meat value chain. 1.2 Million households in South Africa own livestock and are affected by the prevention measures in terms of income and food security. This impacts on the rural economy as well.
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Red meat ‘most perfect food’ for humans, closely followed by milk

There is not a single proven case of eating red meat or processed meat actually causing a cancer said Professor Robert Pickard, emeritus professor of neurobiology at Cardiff University at NFU Cymru’s annual conference in Llandrindod Wells.
“These claims are not based on objective scientific analysis. This has been put together by people who have their own agenda, which is nothing to do with the nutritional benefit of red meat and red meat products. 
“Red meat is the most nutritious food you have available on your plate. It contains all the minerals, all the vitamins, all the protein amino acids which are required in the correct ratio and all the fats which are required in the correct ratio.
“It is the most perfect food for a human being, and coming close behind it is milk. Babies build their entire bodies getting nothing but milk for months and months.”
Source :

The current FMD situation in South Africa

The National Animal Health Forum answered some of the most relevant questions pertaining to the current Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) situation.


  1. Is the gazetted notice applicable to the whole country, or only certain areas or provinces?

The notice is applicable to the whole country. The media release of 14 November 2019 mentions only four provinces, but the Government Gazette notice of 4 December 2019 includes the whole of the Republic. The prohibition is specifically targeted at those areas/premises where cloven-hoofed animals from two or more sources are gathered or brought together for further distribution to two or more places within a period shorter than 28 days.

Read more ...


What lies ahead for livestock farming towards 2050?

The recent droughts we have been experiencing and the bombardment of media messages we receive daily on climate change may affect emotions negatively, or we can respond by saying let’s be prepared and take the bull by the horns, so to speak. The question is what is the likelihood that the trends we are experiencing may become the normal rather than the exception.
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January 2020

The path to sustainable, healthy diets

It will be the combination of improved livestock production plus dietary shifts that will ensure environmental pressures are kept within a safe operating space as the world moves towards meeting growing demand for animal protein.
So says the chief research scientist of agriculture and food at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Professor Mario Herrero.
The solution to a sustainable and healthy future for all will come via a lot of little arrows rather than one silver bullet and the future is relatively bright because we have a lot of technology coming up that could help us improve livestock efficiency, he said.

Prof Herrero spoke in a session which delved into the myths surrounding livestock production and contained numerous references to reports on diets and planet health, such as "Eat Lancet", which recommended significant reductions in red meat consumption.
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Meat alongside plant-based food, both on trend in 2020

While the plant-based food is becoming more prevalent among consumers of all ages, the meat category is also experiencing an increase in popularity, particularly in the US and Europe in recent years.
“Consumers’ perception of meat as a tasty and high-quality protein is driving the reinvention of meat and will secure its permanent place on the plate and as a snack,” said Julian Mellentin, author of the report ‘Ten key trends in food, nutrition and health 2020’ from New Nutrition.The annual trend analysis identifies meat as a growth opportunity, alongside plant-based food.
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Reduction in red meat consumption to ‘increase death and disease’

Concerns have been raised that large-scale reductions in red meat consumption by the world’s population will “increase the numbers of deaths and disease”.
That’s according to Prof. Alice Stanton, a physician and member of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland with 30 years’ experience. She was referring to the reference diet that was produced by the EAT-Lancet Commission earlier this year, which recommended drastic cuts in red meat consumption the world over.
Prof. Stanton said that ‘nutritional risk factors’ had taken over from smoking as “the greatest cause of death worldwide in the last ten years”.
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