The lifting of the ban on ostrich meat in the European Union (EU) is a positive new one which would soon contribute to a full recovery of this sector. A measure aimed at the resumption of exports of ostrich meat to the European Union that South Africa welcomed on Monday, 1 April 2019.
The EU announced this decision last week, one year after adopting a ban on ostrich meat in South Africa due to residue control procedures that did not meet EU requirements.
The resumption of meat trade will alleviate the pressures of ostrich farmers in this country over the past few years, particularly those in the Western Cape Province, said Beverley Schäfer, Minister for economic opportunities of the provincial administration of the Western Cape.
The EU is South Africa's largest ostrich market, and this ban, coupled with extreme drought in the South Cape and Karoo regions, severely affected this sector of activity, said Ms Schäfer.
South Africa currently controls nearly 75% of the world's ostrich market, and 80% of the ostrich meat produced in this country comes from the West Cape. Ostrich exports are divided between meat, leather and feathers, the first two being the most lucrative for the West Cape markets.
The ostrich sector is an important contributor to the Western Cape economy and represents thousands of job creation, particularly in the southern Cape and Klein Karoo regions of this province.