Namibia is the First African Country to Export Beef to the US

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NAMIBIA’S first consignment of beef to the United States of America has left, after 18 years of extensive negotiations between the two countries.

Deputy prime minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah said the export of Namibian beef, through the Meat Corporation of Namibia (Meatco) to the United States is a great achievement in the advancement of Namibia’s economic diplomacy.

Namibia is the First African Country to Export Beef to the US - Brand Spur

Speaking at the sending off of the consignment yesterday, Nandi-Ndaitwah added that the occasion signifies how ties between Namibia and the US continue to be strengthened through different bilateral agreements, and through the African Opportunity Growth Act (Agoa), the two economies can now see some of those coming to fruition.

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“In 2002 and again in 2005, the government of Namibia initiated negotiations on the export of meat (beef) products to the United States, with the intention to exporting boneless (not ground) raw beef products such as primal cuts, chuck, blade, and beef trimming. Today, 18-years later, we are able to finally export meat to the lucrative and big US market.

“I think this may be one of the longest protocols ever that the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the USA and the Namibian Directorate of Veterinary Service (DVS) had taken to ensure that all technical areas are cleared and are in accordance with various established protocols. It is said, ‘nothing good comes easy’, today Namibia is proud of this achievement,” the deputy prime minister said.

When negotiations started, no other African country had ever exported beef to the US despite the fact that it is the world’s biggest beef consuming market, Nandi-Ndaitwah said.

“It was, therefore, an ambitious undertaking for Namibia, a country with 2,4 million cattle and competing for a share in a market claimed and defended by the developed beef producing countries of the world,” she said.

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Namibia underwent several audits in September 2019, including a public health and assurance audit by the US via Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS). On an annual basis, DVS submitted an online self-audit, which FSIS verified with an on-site audit every two years.

The audit ensured that Namibia complies with all the import requirements of the US beef market and, based on the final audit report, Namibia was granted excess to continue exports to the US.

“As a food business operator, Meatco was audited at plant level by the FSIS auditor. The auditor conducted a walk through the plant, whereby a thorough assessment of how the plant is prepared by the DVS health inspectors for the start-up was carried out,” she said.

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Meatco will be exporting boneless raw beef products like primal cuts and beef trimmings as well as chuck and blade. Namibia can also export both chilled and frozen boneless meat (excluding offal, ‘matangaras’) to the US, the deputy prime minister noted.

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Speaking at the same occasion, US ambassador to Namibia Lisa Johnson noted that Meatco’s high-quality beef product has enabled Namibia to become the first country in Africa to be eligible to export beef to the United States.

“One of my top priorities as US ambassador is to increase US-Namibia trade and investment in order to create prosperity for both our countries. And since my arrival in Namibia two years ago, I have had the honor to work closely with Meatco and the ministries represented here today to help make the export of Namibian beef to the United States a reality,” she said.

Corroborating the deputy prime minister’s sentiments, the ambassador stated that Meatco has submitted itself to rigorous tests of its beef products and processes in order to gain access to the US market and is regularly audited.

“As a testament to Meatco’s excellence as a quality beef producer, I am proud to reconfirm that Meatco continues to meet all standards set forth by the US Department of Agriculture and US Food Safety and Inspection Service for beef production and processing. Meatco will benefit from duty-free export of beef into the United States through Agoa,” Johnson added.

Moreover, agriculture minister Alpheus !Naruseb added that the trade between Namibia and the US cements the US’s objectives to increase trade with Africa, improve economic relations and enhance market access under Agoa.

“The significance of exporting Namibian beef is more than just adding yet another high-quality ingredient to the American people’s plate; it marks the success of two countries in the realization of win-win cooperation. Namibia as a developing country continuously and rigorously striving to expand its international markets for meat and meat products while creating more job opportunities for its people,” he said.

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Namibia is the First African Country to Export Beef to the US - Brand SpurNamibia is the First African Country to Export Beef to the US - Brand Spur

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Namibia is the First African Country to Export Beef to the US - Brand SpurNamibia is the First African Country to Export Beef to the US - Brand Spur

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Qatar Airways Launches Ferry Transfer Service from Shenzhen Shekou to Hong Kong International Airport

Qatar Airways introduces Upstream Check-in Service in Shenzhen starting from 15 April 2021 to offer greater connectivity in the Greater Bay Area

Local passengers will have the option to utilise the 30-minutes-long ferry service to fly out of Hong Kong; "Asia's World City" to over 80 destinations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas


SHENZHEN & HONG KONG SAR, CHINA - Media OutReach - 12 April 2021 - Qatar Airways today announced the sea-to-air ferry transfer service from Shenzhen Shekou Port to the SkyPier in the airside of Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) starting from 15 April 2021, providing passengers in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA), one of the world's most dynamic mega-regions, convenient access to the airline's global network from "Asia's World City".


Namibia is the First African Country to Export Beef to the US - Brand Spur

Partnering with Airport Authority Hong Kong, the introduction of the Upstream Check-in Service will allow Qatar Airways customers in Shenzhen greater flexibility and enhanced travel options to the world from Hong Kong, where the airline operates daily direct service to Doha with its modern and fuel-efficient Airbus A350-900 aircraft that features 36 lie-flat seats in Business Class and 247 seats in Economy Class.

Qatar Airways customers can purchase their ferry tickets from SkyLink or the port's website. Passengers utilising the 30-minutes-long ferry service will be provided with boarding passes and baggage check-through service to their final destinations at the Shenzhen Shekou terminal, where they will also clear their customs and immigration. Upon arrival at SkyPier, customers can proceed directly to their Qatar Airways boarding gate, or enjoy the award-winning duty-free shopping experience and fine-dining options at HKIA before continuing a seamless and hassle-free onward journey with the airline to more than 80 destinations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas.

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Mr. Thomas Scruby, Qatar Airways Vice President of Sales for Australasia & North Asia, said: "The introduction of ferry transfer service will boost our footprint in the Greater Bay Area by providing our Southern Chinese customers more flexible flying options via HKIA. We know connectivity within the region and to the wider world is critical for the success of the GBA. Therefore, we are excited to do our part to build the infrastructure necessary to make it easier and smoother for local customers to travel despite the disruption caused by the pandemic around the world."

"We are confident in the market's demand and our commitment to the region remains resolute. The next phase of our partnership with Airport Authority Hong Kong will see the ferry transfer service to be further expanded to other key GBA metropolis such as Macau and Dongguan once government restrictions are lifted, allowing even more customers in the region to enjoy the world-class experience that Qatar Airways has to offer."

Premium customers opting for the ferry transfer service can continue to enjoy the luxurious on-ground experience at the Plaza Premium Lounge, conveniently located near Gate 1 at the South Departures Hall in Hong Kong International Airport. Passengers will be able to take advantage of the well-furnished environment with comfortable seating, shower rooms, contactless food ordering service, highspeed Wi-Fi and international TV channels. Privilege Club Gold members and above as well as selected oneworld frequent flyers also enjoy access to The Wing located near Gates 1 - 4, the industry-renowned lounge operated by Cathay Pacific, where guests can recharge, relax, and catch up with work before boarding their Qatar Airways flights.

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About Qatar Airways:

A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was named 'World's Best Airline' by the 2019 World Airline Awards, managed by international air transport rating organisation Skytrax. It was also named 'Best Airline in the Middle East', 'World's Best Business Class' and 'Best Business Class Seat', in recognition of its ground-breaking Business Class experience, Qsuite. Qatar Airways is the only airline to have been awarded the coveted "Skytrax Airline of the Year" title, which is recognised as the pinnacle of excellence in the airline industry, five times.


Hamad International Airport (HIA), the airline's home and hub, was recently ranked "Third Best Airport in the World", among 550 airports worldwide, by the SKYTRAX World Airport Awards 2020. Rising from fourth position in 2019 to third in 2020, HIA has been steadily rising in the 'World's Best Airports' rankings since the start of its operations in 2014. In addition, HIA was voted the 'Best Airport in the Middle East' for the sixth year in a row and 'Best Staff Service in the Middle East' for the fifth year in a row.


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Namibia is the First African Country to Export Beef to the US - Brand Spur
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