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Thread: Cattle farming in southern Africa? page

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    norak's Avatar
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    Cattle farming in southern Africa?

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    Does anyone know how beef is generally produced in southern Africa? Whenever I see something in a store that is imported from Argentina, Uruguay or Brazil, I know it is most likely grass-fed (and pastured), but for the African meat I have no idea.

    I think most of the African beef import here is from Namibia and Botswana. Does anyone know how they typically do cattle farming? Is it generally pastured/grass-fed or grain-fed?

    Unfortunately, the meat is only labeled with origin country, and the packaging doesn't contain any information regarding whether it's pastured, grass-fed or organic/"ecological".
    Last edited by norak; 04-17-2011 at 03:26 PM.

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    According to this article (PDF) "[...] Most cattle in commercial farms [in Namibia] is grass-fed due to poor soil conditions in Namibia, making feed hard to produce and expensive to import from South Africa.", so I guess I'm safe to assume the same is true for exported meat.

    It's a bit sad that the article views the grass-feeding of cattle as an economic disadvantage for the country though. From my point of view, the fact that their cows are pastured is an economic advantage, as it makes it more likely I will buy their (exported) meat in the future.
    Last edited by norak; 04-29-2011 at 01:16 AM.

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    Where have you been able to purchase this meat, and is it cheaper than the meat from Argentian, Uruguay or Brazil?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sungrazer View Post
    Where have you been able to purchase this meat, and is it cheaper than the meat from Argentian, Uruguay or Brazil?
    I don't remember exactly where, but if I'm not mistaken, it was either Rema 1000 or Kiwi (don't remember the brand, but it was a cheap one). I think the source of the meat varies depending on whether Norwegian meat is available or not (Norwegian meat typically being preferred), but the price was in the range NOK 140-200 per kg.

    I've also read that the big producers like Gilde (and their sub-brands) will also package imported African meat in periods where Norwegian meat meat is unavailable (or too pricey?). Now that they are obligated to print the source country on the packaging, it's quite easy to find out, you just have to look for it (or ask the staff).

    Update: Apparently, imported meat is not sold under the Gilde brand (Google translation), as they guarantee all meat to be Norwegian. However, the owners (Nortura) have many other brands, which I assume will be selling the African meat.
    Last edited by norak; 04-29-2011 at 02:01 AM.

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    Nice, thanks - I generally avoid Gilde because I don't like the texture or taste of it. I believe most of the cows are grain fed. At least at this time of the year. Might be better to buy big in the fall and freeze.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sungrazer View Post
    Nice, thanks - I generally avoid Gilde because I don't like the texture or taste of it. I believe most of the cows are grain fed. At least at this time of the year. Might be better to buy big in the fall and freeze.
    If you can afford it, beef from the Nordgården brand is guaranteed to be grass-fed (it's a requirement for the "ecological" certification (Ø-merket)). I think also beef from the brand "Jacobs utvalgte" is mostly grass-fed. It's not certified "ecological", but I read somewhere (on the packaging?) that they prefer grass-fed beef for the taste (i.e. grass fed is not a requirement, but it will usually be so, since the meat is selected primarily by taste and texture/tenderness). Also, they typically select meat from farms that are known for grass-fed and pastured cattle.

    Unfortunately, both of these alternatives can be twice the price (or more) of "regular" steaks, hence my interested in imported African beef.

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    We should look into cow pooling. There are meat producers around Oslo doing grass fed and grovfôr only.
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