The Saudi Arabian Food and Drug Authority has announced it is to lift a ban on meat imports from South Africa, opening up opportunities for local meat producers in a sizeable market.
Saudi officials inspected local abattoirs and feedlots in June this year to ensure that meat products complied with Saudi Arabian market access protocols and halaal certification.
The ban was imposed after the local foot-and-mouth disease outbreak 21 years ago.
Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel said South African meat producers were now allowed to participate in a huge, global halaal meat industry.
During a state visit in October last year, Patel and Agriculture Minister Thoko Didiza met with Saudi Arabian Investment Minister Khalid Al Falih, and members of the South African meat industry.
“A task team was formed to facilitate access for meat and red meat products from South Africa into Saudi Arabia,” Patel said.
The South African Saudi Business Council (SASBC) co-chairperson, Stravos Nicolaou, said certain halaal procedures had to be addressed to lift the ban and South Africa’s Department of Agriculture had to ensure veterinary certification was obtained to ensure that the ban was lifted as well.
He added the SASBC welcomed the lifting of the ban and the opportunities for South African meat producers in a sizeable market.