Welcome to the June 2019 issue of the Red Meat Producers Organisation Newsletter
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FMD: SA status may shortly be restored

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has declared the foot and mouth diseases (FMD) affected zone to the international animal health organisation, the OIE.
The declaration was made for official recognition in accordance with Article 8.8.6 of the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code. If this declaration is accepted, South Africa's FMD free zone status will be reinstated on the proviso that the area is cleaned up within one year.
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Namibian sheep marketing scheme adjusted

According to a notice by the Meat Board of Namibia the regulations that control the slaughter of Namibian produced sheep at certain South African abattoirs, will in future allow producers to slaughter sheep at certain South African abattoirs if the local prices of A2/A3 sheep are below the Namibian benchmark price. 
This notice by the Meat Board of Namibia states that a specific permit to export livestock for slaughtering purposes will be granted only for sheep which:
  • Has first been offered for slaughter to the nearest Namibian export abattoir of the applicant;
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British public may be cutting back too much on red meat

People may be cutting back too much on the amount of red meat they eat; with a major opinion poll showing over half of the British public think they should only be eating half the recommended amount.
A poll by market research company revealed 53% of people believed recommended intake was half the 500g a week, or 70g a day, in government guidelines.
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Labour shortages in Australian meat industry

The Australian red meat industry is undergoing a massive labour shortage, new research has found.
According to a discussion paper published by the Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC), about two thirds (63%) of red meat processors are prevented from running at capacity due to ‘Labour Deficit Epidemic’ in the country. AMIC research also found that there are currently 3 780 job vacancies in the red meat industry.
The four key employment areas identified by the AMIC that are in dire need of government support are: training; skilling the long-term unemployed; access to overseas workers with fit-for-purpose visas as part of a total employee mix and permanent migration into regional areas.
According to AMIC’s paper, the labour market challenges include independent butchers, who are finding it increasingly difficult to fill job vacancies or do not have funding support to take on apprentices.
Source :

Hide market trends

With domestic hide prices almost 80% lower than prices a year ago the domestic hide market continues to be under pressure, according to ABSA Agri Trends.
The global market for hides is struggling with the needed relief not expected in the short term.
Local hide market
The domestic hide price for the week of 24 May 2019 remained fairly stable at R1.72/kg on average, this is 0.15% lower than the average price the previous week. Current prices are 77.9% lower than prices a year ago. The RMAA price for feedlot hides declined by 2.4% while the RMAA price for field hides increased by 2.5% week-on-week.


Does restoration pay?
In last month’s contribution we argued the economic benefit of restoration and as a consequence soil health, whether in a livestock farming context or broader. Conceptually this seems a good argument, but does it pay? If restoration does not make economic sense, the country is better off without it. 
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Lamb and Mutton SA Consumer Education activities update

The month of May was Africa month and Lamb and Mutton SA celebrated with “Lambassador” Chef Naledi who cooked, and posted, some of her favourite traditional dishes on social media. Her special appearance, for Lamb and Mutton SA, on Expresso livewas the highlight of the month. This insert, of her cooking lamb trotters live on air, can be seen here
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June 2019

Stock Theft: do your bit

The National Stock Theft Prevention Forum requests that all role players in the red meat industry to urgently play an active role in stock theft prevention.

The National Priority Committee: Rural Safety at a meeting held on 12 March 2019 requested the National Stock Theft Prevention Forum to once again urge all role players within the red meat industry to co-operate in the prevention of stock theft, which is a highly economical and emotional crime by abiding by existing laws. Research has proven that since the adoption of the Animal Identification Act, 2002 (Act 6 of 2002) stock theft decreased immensely.  
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Namibian cattle exports take a 26.5% dip

Despite severe drought conditions, Namibian cattle exports declined considerably by 26.49 % in the first quarter of the year due to weak demand for weaners by South African feedlots who were adversely affected by foot-and-mouth disease-related trade restrictions.

Since weaner exports are a leading contributor to the sector’s performance, their decline greatly influenced an overall weak performance.   

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Walmart develops own beef supply chain

US retailer Walmart is to create its own end-to-end beef production in an effort to offer a “more secure and transparent supply chain”.
It announced it would be working with “best-in-class partners​” to supply Angus beef to its stores.
Through the scheme, a selection of Angus beef cuts, such as steaks and roasts from this supply chain, would be sold in 500 Walmart stores across a number of states in the south east, including Georgia, Alabama and Florida.
Source :

Red Meat:  The facts

The Scared Cow movement in the USA, a movement that campaigns for the nutritional, environmental and ethical case for better meat, published the following facts on red meat:
  • Red meat won’t kill you!
There is no evidence showing red meat or saturated fat consumption causes heart disease or diabetes. Humans have eaten red meat and other nutrient dense animal products for thousands of years.
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Beef market trends

The US market is hoping for a slight bump in demand due to grilling season which will provide support to prices, according to ABSA Agri Trends.
The announcement of the trade assistance package by Donald Trump has indicated that there is no end in sight for the US/China trade war. Domestic beef prices are expected to remain fairly stable for May. From June the class C price is expected to increase while the class A price is expected to decline, weaner calf prices are expected to remain stable for the next three months.
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Sheep meat market trends

Demand for New Zealand lamb is expected to remain strong which will lend support to international prices, according to ABSA Agri Trends.
The domestic price for class C is expected to follow an upward trend from May onward due to increased seasonal demand. Domestic prices for Class A and feeder lambs are expected to remain fairly stable for the rest of May going into June, in June the prices are expected to experience an increase before stabilising at that increased level in July.
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