Agri Value Chain Virtual Discussion Series – The Meat Industry

The panel includes Marthinus Stander, CEO, Country Bird Holdings, Johann Kotzé, CEO, South African Pork Producers Organisation, Dewald Olivier, CEO, The South African Feedlot Association, Dr Danie Odendaal, Founder and director of Veterinarian Network (V-Net).

Marthinus starts the session off talking about the position of the poultry industry in the agricultural value chain. He speaks clearly on the different components of the poultry industry delving into detail about the poultry breeding processes. He explains the different entry points into the poultry industry and lets viewers know of the different ways in which they can form part of this particular element of the value chain. “We are very fortunate that chicken is always in demand in the market. If there are any problems, they usual arise on the supply side as there is never a shortage of demand for chicken.” he says. In terms of supplying chicken to the rest of Africa, Marthinus enlightens viewers on how instead of attempting to export chicken from South Africa to the rest of the continent, they at Country Bird have opted to set up operation in several counties within the continent to better supply those areas from within. He also expands on opportunities of growth and transformation available within the poultry industry.

While the panel acknowledges that the COVID19 pandemic has put globalisation temporarily on hold, it is important to still be smart and look at opportunities to infiltrate the global market and work on South Africa’s competiveness on a global scale.

Dewald Olivier, CEO of the South African Feedlot Association joins the conversation by highlighting the role of government and NGOs and the critical part they play in the value chain. He also reiterates the importance of building trust between government and agribusiness. “The relationship we have formed with government are what helps us.” he says. He talks about the feedlots and how they also form part of the primary producer section of the value chain. He stresses the importance of the consumers and understanding their needs. Dewald encourages market research as a tool to better grasp how best to cater to the dynamic needs of the consumer. He touches on the issue of the informal market and the positive contribution that informal trade has on the sector as a whole. He concedes that the pandemic has provided us with opportunities to do business differently.

Johan Kotze, CEO of the South African Pork association talks about the growing profile of the pork industry in the past couple of years. He acknowledges the negative effects that diseases like swine flu and listeriosis had on the industry and how they have worked to overcome them. He explains to the viewer the journey of a piece of pork meat that lands on a table. “I don’t think that many people now that when they have a piece of pork meat landing on their plate, the decision on that meat was made 365 days ago.” he says. Johan talks about the significance of tackling problems that arise in each industry head on and drives his point home by telling viewers how the pork industry managed to have the best year of producing and selling pigs in the midst of the listeria outbreak. He speaks with hope on the future of the pork industry and echoes Dewald’s sentiments on the informal markets.

Speaking from a biosecurity viewpoint, Dr Danie Odendaal, Founder and director of Veterinarian Network (V-Net) joins the conversation to speak about what we can do to fight against the diseases that hinder the progress of the animal agricultural sector. “We have about 200 veterinary practitioners in the countryside of South Africa. That does not sound like much, but it actually is when considering that in the rest of the continent, there are none.” he says. He talks about the different degrees anddevastating effects of varying diseases that plague animals and the importance of effectively controlling them.

Session three of the Agricultural Value Chain discussion series feature discussions about the inner workings of the milling industry.

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