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European pork, beef and their products are an attractive proposition for RSA importers

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      The Republic of South Africa (RSA) is a country where the demand for meat is growing. In the first decade of the 21st century the annual per capital consumption of meat has almost doubled to 56.6 kg from 31.9 kg in the 1960s. It should be noted that during this period the consumption of pork increased by almost 50%[1]. Although the consumption of beef has declined slightly, it still remains high. A statistical South African eats on average 15.8 kg of beef per year[2]. In 2011, the production of pork in RSA reached 208,900 tons and consumption 242,700 tons, the production of beef and veal reached 855,400 tons and its consumption 880,400 tons[3]. These figures attest to a large potential for meat imports to this market. How can RSA meat importers benefit from bringing in goods from the European Union?

The European Union has for many years been the main trading partner of RSA. Mutually beneficial trade between the Community and the Republic of South Africa is guaranteed by the Trade Development and Cooperation Agreement concluded in 1999. Adopting this Agreement as the basis for bilateral relations has enabled trade to be intensified and has also opened new markets for exporters and importers of beef, pork and products made using these meats. It should be added that this Agreement will soon be replaced by an economic agreement between the European Union and the Southern African Development Community (EU-SADC), according to which RSA will trade with the European Community on more preferential terms. The aforesaid agreements make it possible to reduce the costs of trade by lowering customs duties, facilitating customs clearance procedures and introducing consistent technical and sanitary standards. These facilities are of particular importance to Kazakh importers of beef, pork and their products. Thanks to these changes the European market is even more attractive to them.

According to the figures released by Eurostat the EU is currently the second-largest pork producer in the world, producing annually some 22 million tons of this meat. Its annual production of beef reaching approximately 7.5 million tons places it in third position globally[4]. Each Member State has a current list of meat plants which meet the sanitary requirements specified in South African laws and which are authorised to export to the South African market. Meat exported from the EU to RSA is also subject to stringent quality checks to ensure that it meets the restrictive EU standards. This offers importers complete certainty that the meat comes from plants which apply high standards and meet the requirements imposed on producers by RSA. The ability to trace the entire history of the product “from the field to the table”, guaranteed information on the content of the feed eaten by the animals (the use of antibiotics and growth hormones is banned), as well as strict supervision of the veterinary and sanitary services at every stage of the production process give importers confidence as regards the source of origin of European meat. The deployment of the aforesaid good manufacturing and hygiene practices results in the end product with the desired characteristics, i.e. the correct flavour, uniform colour, noticeable smell, correct tenderness and juiciness.

The desire to present the benefits awaiting the South African importers of European meat prompted a consortium made up of the Meat Industry Producers and Employers Union (UPEMI) and the Polish Association of Beef Cattle Producers (PZPBM) to launch a campaign entitled “The Taste of Quality and Tradition Direct from Europe” ( The actions conducted as part of the campaign will include meetings where the organisers and independent experts present information on the qualities of European meat and high standards of its production and present the formal and legal requirements regarding its import from the European Union. Participation in the event offers a unique opportunity for the current and potential importers, representatives of sector organisations connected with food imports, and representatives of the HoReCa industry to expand their knowledge of the exceptional quality of European mean.

Meat consumption has been increasing in RSA for many years. The high standards of European countries in meat production and the traditional production methods mean that pork and beef from Europe is characterised by exceptional taste and quality. Trade agreements between the European Union, global meat production potentate, and the Republic of South Africa guarantee advantageous conditions of import from the Community to RSA. The aforesaid aspects make the European Union a valuable partner for South African firms importing meat. “The Taste of Quality and Tradition Direct from Europe” campaign is an ideal occasion for exchanging experiences and expanding the knowledge of the benefits derived from importing European pork, beef and their products.

[1] Kwasek M.: Trends in Meat Consumption in the World, Roczniki Ekonomiczne Kujawsko-Pomorskiej Szkoły Wyższej w Bydgoszczy, 2013;6: 265-284, dane USDA

[1] Kwasek M.: Trends in Meat Consumption in the World, Roczniki Ekonomiczne Kujawsko-Pomorskiej Szkoły Wyższej w Bydgoszczy, 2013;6: 265-284.

[1] Department of Trade and Investments Promotion in Johannesburg: Exporters’s Guide in the Market of the Republic of South Africa. 2012.


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