Welcome to the April 2020 issue of the Red Meat Producers Organisation Newsletter
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Impact of the lock down on the red meat industry

The RPO supports the drastic measures announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa to limit the COVID-19 virus spread.
"The RPO has taken note that agricultural production and specifically red meat production will continue in the 21-day exclusion period. The RPO accepts the measures with the necessary responsibility", said the chairman, Mr Koos van der Ryst.
These include essential activities such as slaughter, value chain supply actions, veterinary and phyto-sanitary services and production related actions such as feed supply and water supply. The RPO is in discussions with the Department of Agriculture to determine whether auctioneering is an essential service.
Read more ...
Newest digital edition of Red Meat/Rooivleis available soon
If you were wondering whether you will still receive your new edition of Red Meat/Rooivleis during the COVID-19 national lockdown, we have good news.
Even though all commercial printers have been temporarily closed during the 21 day lockdown, the digital edition of Red Meat/Rooivleis (Vol.11 No.2) will be available on the Agri Connect website ( from 9 April. The main articles will also be uploaded onto the RPO App. Readers will therefore have full digital access to the latest magazine.
When the printers hopefully go online again on 17 April, the new edition will be uploaded, printed and distributed to arrive at your door or in your post box – with updated news in the Meat Minute section – by the end of the month. That is of course assuming the 21 day lockdown does end on 16 April.
Our deep gratitude to those producers who are still grafting away to keep the South Africa’s pots boiling while most of the population are hunkering down in their homes.
Friendly regards,
The Red Meat/Rooivleis team

Off-take agreement signed with small farmers

Al Mawashi South Africa, the South African subsidiary of the Kuwait Stock Exchange listed Al Mawashi - one of the largest international livestock transport and trading companies in the world, announced the country's first-ever live export, off-take agreement for sheep with emerging South African black livestock farmers.
The announcement involved signing and concluding five preferential procurement off-take agreements. It forms part of the company's empowerment strategy to grow, foster and support the development of an emerging farmer live export industry alongside commercial farmers.
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The prevention of stock theft outreach programme rolling out across Limpopo

The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Limpopo has directed that the joint approach on the prevention of incidents of stock theft in the form of outreach programs, be re-activated across the province due to the sporadic incidents of stock theft which are still prevalent in some station areas.
The second campaign for February 2020 was conducted at Segole village in the Gilead Policing area also under the Mahwelereng Cluster, where the following safety hints were shared with the attendees :-
  • Take full care of your livestock register.
  • Report all stock theft incidents immediately to the nearest police station.
Read more ...

Namibia first African country to export red meat to hungry US market

Namibia became the first African country to export red meat to the US after it sent 25 tonnes of beef to Philadelphia, following two decades of haggling over safety regulations and logistics.
The arid southern African nation, known for free-range, hormone-free beef, is set to export 860 tonnes of various beef cuts in 2020 to the US, rising to 5 000 tonnes by 2025.
The US tops the world list for red meat consumption per head. Americans consume on average 120kg of meat per person, according the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), making meat exports to the country a prime target.
The shipment is first commercial consignment after samples were sent in the past 24 months to US laboratories for tests.
Under the deal, exports will include boneless, raw beef cuts in frozen or chilled form.
Source :

Preliminary beef price trends in the week of 20 march and 13 march 2020

During the week of 20 March, the average price (after auction commission) was R29,76/kg for weaners (200 – 250kg) and R31,66/kg before commission, which was 1,6% lower compared to the previous week, according to AMT.
This price varies between R27,26/kg to R31,50/kg. The decline is caused among others the result of the uncertainty in the market concerning the spreading of the corona virus in South Africa and the impact there off on consumer behavior. Compared to a month ago, the price declined in total by 5,4% and was 11,4% higher year-on-year.
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Environmental effects affecting inter-calving period of Nguni cows 

Reproductive efficiency of cows is a key to improving profits in a beef herd. An important component in cow fertility and productivity is the inter-calving period (ICP), which is the time period from one calving to the next. ICP does have a genetic component, but it is also influenced by non-genetic factors such as the level of nutrition, management and the environment. The post-calving period, which is one of the three phases that constitute ICP, is instrumental in re-establishment of the ovarian activity and preparation of the cow for re-conception.

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April 2020

RPO viewpoint on Corona Virus outbreak

"The national Red Meat Producers’ Organisation (RPO) supports the government’s declaration of a national disaster and the relevant measures taken and will contribute towards the containment of the disease.

“Red meat producers can play a significant role to combat the spreading of the disease and we have a responsibility to handle the issue with the necessary seriousness”, says Mr Koos van der Ryst, Chairman of the national RPO.

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Red meat exports recover

Agri Inspec has the mandate to monitor imports and exports in the red meat industry.

owever, beef exports were 3 499 tonnes in December 2019, in comparison with the January 2019 total of 1 450 tonnes.
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RPO welcomes budget allocation


The Red Meat Producers' Organisation (RPO) gratefully has taken note that R495.10 million was allocated to the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development to promote bio-security and exports.


"The outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease last year was a major setback for the red meat industry and had a negative impact on exports in particular", said Mr Koos van der Ryst, Chairman of the national RPO.

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Studies show red meat is not bad for you

In 1977 a Dietary Goals report declared red meat bad for your health, and since then the consumption of red meat has fallen more than 26%. During that time several studies have tried to tie red meat to health problems. 


USA Today reports that three recent studies are fighting back against the negative perception of red meat. 

The researchers who wrote the report analysed 61 studies that occurred throughout the past several years and consisted of over 4 million participants. The goal of the studies was to see if red meat affected the risk of developing heart disease and cancer. 

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Food insecurity enhanced by lack of research and development

South Africa has a dichotomous food security status: While secure at national level, there are still many households that do not have food and face hunger.
According to Statistics South Africa, 6.8 million people and approximately 1.7 million households experienced hunger, indicating food insecurity in 2017.
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Legal aspects of Brucellosis control

The main purpose of the Animal Diseases Act, 1984 (Act 35 of 1984) is to control important and dangerous animal diseases.
The Act and its regulations have general control measures relevant to all diseases but also have specific control measures for certain diseases, such as brucellosis.
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Preliminary producer lamb price trends in the week ending on 13 march 2020

The producer price of Class A2/A3 lamb was in total 0,9% lower during the week of 13 March compared to the previous week, according to AMT.
The decline in the price can mainly be contributed to higher carryover stocks in the market due to a weaker demand for A2/A3’s. The price was 4,5% higher compared to a month ago and 10,8% higher year-on- year.
Read more ...
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