Quality assurance is a crucial component of any successful enterprise, but never more so than when it comes to the food industry. The South Africa Meat Industry Company (SAMIC), created by the Red Meat Industry of South Africa (RMIF), is one such quality assurance company; thanks to regular and meticulous audits and inspections, it ensures the quality and safety of meat in our country.

Appointed to act on behalf of The National Department of Agriculture in implementing sections 3(1)(a) and (b) and 8 of the Agricultural Product Standards Act (no 119 of 1990), SAMIC operates throughout the country with a full commitment to consumers, farmers, abattoir owners and meat traders ensuring 100% integrity when it comes to any beef, lamb and pork products.

SAMIC responsibilities include the following:

Independent hides and skins audits on behalf of the National Department of Agriculture for export purposes at abattoirs, intermediate stores as well as at harbours.

Independent inspections at all abattoirs, meat traders, imported meat and hide and skins plants for Red Meat Levy purposes.

Independent ‘Brand’ auditing on Trademarks at: farms, feedlots, abattoirs, deboning plants and outlets. Trademarks are registered at the National Department of Agriculture.

Ensuring that Trademarks are strictly adhered to is a particularly arduous task, and these Trademarks cover detailed specifications for a range of high-quality meat products; from top-end retailers like Woolworths to more husbandry and location specific practises, as seen below for ‘Certified Natural Free’ and ‘Karoo Naturally Free’:

Certified Natural Free roaming is a requirement for all animals. The general welfare of the animals receives priority at all times. Free access to feed is a requirement. No animal products or by-products are allowed to be included in the feed. Clean drinking water must be available at all times. Hormones and stimulants are prohibited. Strict antibiotic control is a requirement. All withdrawal periods must be adhered to. Slaughtering, chilling and processing procedures are well controlled. Traceability from fork to farm is a requirement.’

‘Only farms in the immediate vicinity of the Karoo where there are no evidence of feedlots are allowed to produce animals for the “Karoo Naturally Free” Trademark. The use of hormone and growth stimulants is not allowed. All withdrawal periods of medication are extended. Supplementary feed is only allowed in addition to free excess to natural feed and water. Freedom of movement is a necessity and good management is a requirement. For traceability purposes an animal stock register is a requirement.’

In short, SAMIC helps all responsible meat wholesalers and retailers deliver the best-quality meat products. And by being correctly compliant and certified, the N1 team continues to uphold their core values of Quality, Service and Delivery.