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EU lifts ban on SA ostrich meat

Apr 01 2019 15:40

The European Union, the largest consumer of South African ostrich meat, has lifted its ban on imports.

The decision, published last week, lifts the ban imposed last year. The ban was implemented because the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries' residue testing procedures did not meet the EU's requirements, according to a statement issued by Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities Beverley Schäfer. 

According to Schäfer, the ban, coupled with extreme drought in the Southern Cape and Karoo regions, severely impacted the local ostrich industry.

She said the resumption of the ostrich meat trade would help to ease the pressure that ostrich farmers in the province have been experiencing in recent years.

South Africa currently holds around 75% of the global ostrich market share, with 80% of the country's ostrich meat coming from the Western Cape, according to the statement. Ostrich exports are divided into meat, leather and feathers, with meat and leather being the most lucrative of the markets.

A total of 166 selected ostrich breeder birds were sold at the 15th annual auction held by the Department of Agriculture at its Oudtshoorn research farm recently.

The average price paid per bird was R5 500, significantly higher than the average price of R4 100 fetched in the previous year.

The ostriches sold are part of the resource flock at the research farm. The Department sells birds from this flock each year to enable industry to benefit directly from the genetic improvements made through the farm’s selection programme.

"This year's auction proves that ostrich producers are willing to invest in breeding material and signals well for the long-term future of the industry as this will enable the industry to improve productivity," said Schäfer.

eu  |  agribusiness  |  ostrich  |  agriculture  |  drought
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