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

Namibia has become the first African country to export red meat to the United States, following nearly two decades of negotiations.

“We’re able to finally export meat to the lucrative and big US market,” Namibia’s minister of international relations, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, said.

The state-owned meat firm Meatco sent a shipment of 25 tons of beef to Philadelphia on Wednesday.

The country is set to export 860 tons of various beef cuts in 2020 to the United States, rising to 5,000 tons by 2025.

Namibia’s first commercial consignment came after samples were sent to US laboratories for tests.

Despite objections raised by US-based individuals and trade organizations during a comment period in late 2015, the US Food Safety and Inspection Service determined that Namibia has the appropriate procedures and measures in place to ensure standards are maintained.

The United States is the world’s biggest red meat consumer as Americans consume on average 120 kgs of meat per person, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“Namibia will benefit economically from tapping into the largest consumer market with purchasing power of $13 trillion, and US consumers will benefit from access to Namibia’s high-quality, free-range, grass-fed beef,” American ambassador to Namibia, Lisa Johnson, said.

In 2019, Namibia exported about 12,400 tons of meat to Norway, Britain, the European Union and China.

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