The Botswana Meat Commission is negotiating to sell its beef to Singapore in a bid to diversify its product market. This according to the BMC Chief Executive Officer, David Falepau.
He said that the negotiations on this were suspended last year after the outbreak of foot and mouth in the north-east part of the country and the delisting of the country by the European Union.
“We anticipate that the Department of Veterinary Services in Botswana will be in a position to recommence negotiations with a number of other new markets in the near future,” he said.
H explained that trade access protocols are generally negotiated by the Ministry of Trade and Foreign Affairs and these negotiations include matters such as tariffs , customer supply relationship between exporting company, such as BMC, and potential customers in Singapore.
Falepau suggested that Asia could be Botswana’s big market as Botswana waits to be delisted as it has both fast growing economies and population.
“Asia is definitely an attractive potential market as some of smaller market segments in Asia can match the prices paid by the EU and are very much competitive,” he said. “We defiantly propose to continue pursuing market access in Asia.”
He further explained that gaining access to the market will be much easier if Botswana complies with EU standards for food safety and animal health standards which are the highest in the world.
Since becoming the CEO of the BMC, Falepau has been campaigning for finding new markets for Botswana beef, away from the traditional markets of EU and South Africa. BMC is currently selling live cattle ready for slaughter to Zimbabwe. These cattle are mainly from FMD areas, such as Okavango, where most cattle being sent to Zimbabwe are currently from. Ngamiland farmers are expected to start selling to Zimbabwe soon.