The Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) intends to roll out its re-introduced canned products to the global market in an effort to diversify their product offering.
BMC which is widely known for its export of beef fresh packs re-launched their canned products last year after they were halted in 2021 following a black-like substance was found in the canned beef products.
BMC chief operations officer, Brian Dioka told this publication that when the cannery was set-up in 1970, it was predominantly for exports even though the business model changed along the way as these products were put in the local market.
“Priority changed along the way to become local market considering the cost of compliance to export markets and the unit cost to produce such a product, so our intentions is to go back into exports for some of these cans because some of the work that we are doing as BMC is to improve compliance portfolio of the cannery so that we are able to export,” he said.
Dioka highlighted that they are working towards converting the cannery into a value addition secondary processing business unit to ensure that it does not only deal with canning but rather deal with other new requirements such as pouching of finished products.
“Other segments in the industry would prefer a pouch as opposed to a can, so we have as part of our strategy as BMC to improve the cannery so that it does not only improve on canning abilities and competencies but it also brings into existence value added competencies ,” added Dioka.
He stated that the recent decision by government to instruct the Parastatal to slaughter more than 7 000 cattle from Zone 6B will afford them the opportunity to increase their canned beef production in the market.
“You can anticipate growth in terms of production of the 65% meat content, 100% ecco products and pet food,” said Dioka.
He said they are currently producing less than 3 tons per day of canned products because of myriad dynamics such as the reliability of raw material adding that they are however anticipating that with the growth of production and the increase of production from Zone 6B and other interventions on a small sustainable set-up, there is expectation that tonnage production to move to 11-14 tons per day.
Dioka also said to ensure sustainability they intend to improve their turnaround time of paying farmers in order to encourage them to sell their cattle to the Parastatal.
He said the ECCO products are still miles apart from the competitors.
“One other thing we have done is the improvements in our labelling to show what our products have in terms of the nutritional value but also to promote soya dieting. Soya products are high in allegiance; it creates a problem for people because it enhances the allergies. With this product, you can give to anyone, that’s why it is a premium product. You would not find a product of this nature in the local market. In fact, you would not find this type of product in the region because of its high nutritional value and also high meat content,” Dioka said.