Mmegi Online :: BMC sets sights on Middle East, Russia
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Last Updated
Wednesday 14 November 2018, 18:34 pm.
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BMC sets sights on Middle East, Russia

The Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) is intensifying its search for supply contracts to the Middle East and Russia, as it seeks to expand its export base and shore up revenues, BusinessWeek can reveal.
By Mbongeni Mguni Fri 16 Feb 2018, 15:03 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: BMC sets sights on Middle East, Russia








The Commission, whose losses have averaged P100 million in the last three years, is drawn to the region after its success in Kuwait last year, where the market there even accepted supplies from the Maun abattoir.

Over the years, the Maun region has suffered from frequent Foot and Mouth Disease outbreaks, limiting its export potential.

On Tuesday, BMC chief executive officer, Akolang Tombale told BusinessWeek that the Kuwaiti deal had whetted the organisation’s appetite for the Middle East market.

“The region is a target and we have already established ourselves there,” he said.

“There are opportunities and we have sent feelers out.

“We were visited as well by the Israelis, but there were some conditions that we could not meet, especially around the kosher requirements. They have said what we need to do and that is an opportunity.”

The BMC is also in talks with Russian offtakers who have expressed interest in Botswana beef, Tombale added. Currently, the Commission exports to the European Union, including a lucrative Norway contract, as well as South Africa, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola.

Tombale said being a smaller producer in the global market, the BMC leveraged itself on its quality and its position as one of Africa’s premier abattoirs. This year,

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the Commission expects to slaughter 105,000 cattle at its flagship abattoir in Lobatse and another 28,000 in Maun.

Tombale added that the Francistown abattoir, which could be disposed of under the BMC’s planned restructuring, is yet to open this year. Discussions are ongoing about a novel arrangement with privately-owned abattoirs, which could see the abattoir used for deboning and meat processing only, instead of slaughter.

“We haven’t opened Francistown for this year and we are taking the cattle from the green zone to Lobatse.

“We have been talking to the abattoirs like Botalaote, Jago in Palapye and Engliton in Rakops.

“The idea is that we collaborate with the; they slaughter and buy those carcasses for deboning and processing into meat products at Francistown, for export.

“We are enthusiastic about the idea and we are trying to help them improve their operations as well. These discussions involve the Department of Veterinary Services who have to sanction that because for us to export, they have to sign off.

“Such arrangements would relieve the weight of slaughtering in Francistown for us.”

The BMC is keen to dispose of the Francistown abattoir, which it says is unprofitable and competes with the higher capacity and higher grade Lobatse for export zone cattle.

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