Sunday, June 23, 2024

Meat Commission working hard to meet EU September deadline

The Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) is optimistic that everything is on track to meet the September deadline to resume export to the European Union lucrative market.

BMC has been shut out from its highest value export market for months following their delisting from the EU market for failing to comply with the requirements that included livestock traceability as per EU requirements, meat hygiene to the right standard, EU listing of abattoirs amongst other requirements.

The Chief Executive officer, David Falepau, said, “We have submitted BMC annual internal audit to the Department of Veterinary services and we are optimistic that we will be able to meet all their requirements.”

Falepau said they are expecting Department of Veterinary Services to submit the document to EU for review in a few weeks.

He added that the BMC could not access the EU markets due to the foot and mouth outbreak, saying that the Department of Veterinary Service are working on a document that they have to submit to the World Organization for Animal Health, proving that foot and mouth is contained and controlled disease.

“We are hoping that they review our case and relists us,” said Falepau.

He said this is a crucial moment as Botswana has not been able to export any beef this year.

“We haven’t been able to supply our Norwegian market, which is the most paying. BMC supplies 150 tons of beef every year,” he said.

Falepau said when the BMC lost access to the EU, it simultaneously lost access to most other markets around the world.

“Already we have lost half billion Pula in revenue for the first three quarters of 2011 and an almost 50 percent drop from 187,000 head in 2010 to less that 100,000 head in 2011,” he said.

Falepau said looking at the EU market alone, “we have lost approximately P200 million”, adding that the consequences of EU delisting have been dire for the whole beef industry in Botswana.

Falepau commended the recent development between Botswana and Zimbabwe saying “this is a good development as it will help us control FMD.” He added that this shows that it’s possible to have trade relations with other countries like Angola and the DRC.”


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