Zambeef products safe, good


ZAMBEEF is one of the most successful companies in Zambia and has expanded to West Africa, where it has subsidiaries in Nigeria and Ghana.
It is one of the largest employers in the agriculture sector with about 5,500 permanent employees other than the jobs created as a result of its business.
The issue of questionable beef products imported from Ireland, the United Kingdom and the USA has been hounding the company for the past one month and we hope this can now be behind us.
We say so because yesterday the company laid to rest fears that some of its imported beef products contained a chemical that could cause disease.
But it is important to note that the preservative that was found in imported meat products is widely used as a preservative in many other foods.
The issue should be put to rest because yesterday the company burnt all imported beef products after removing them from circulation with an assurance that the firm will only deal in local beef products.
Ministry of Health director of technical support services Kamoto Mbewe and Zambeef board chairperson Jacob Mwanza set ablaze to the meat at Huntley farm in Chisamba as an assurance to customers that the firm is now only dealing in local beef products.
The Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) and the Ministry of Health witnessed the burning of the meat products and customers must therefore be assured that Zambeef products are safe and sound without any unauthorised preservatives.
It is a good development that Zambeef has adhered to the law to assure customers that there are no strange preservatives in the firm’s products.
As board chairman Dr Jacob Mwanza has noted, management decided to dispose of all its imported beef products in consultation with the Ministry of Health, to give people a 100 percent commitment that from now onwards, the company will only provide meat that is locally produced in all outlets throughout the country.
We support the firm’s decision, which has been welcomed by the government and the ZNFU since this will allay any suspicions that there are unauthorised preservatives in beef products.
That is why we entirely agree with ZNFU president Jervis Zimba who congratulated Zambeef for taking a bold decision to voluntarily destroy all imported beef products.
We also agree with Mr Zimba that “What has happened in the last one month must be put behind us. I would like to appeal to Zambian customers to trust Zambeef as the beef and meat products currently in retail shops are 100 per cent local.”
This is also our message to Zambeef customers that they should trust the company because it has stopped importing any beef products and the meet products currently in circulation are all from local suppliers.
This firm should not be demonised considering that it is one of the rare success stories in sub-Saharan Africa and has a dual listing on the Alternative Investment Market and the Lusaka Stock Exchange.
It also supports thousands of peasant farmers from who it buys cattle which ensures that the small-scale farmers have an income to support families and send their children to school.
It is, therefore, important that we put the issue behind us and let the company do what it is good at doing; which is feeding the nation and supporting peasant farmers apart from contributing to the national Treasury and creating thousands of jobs.