Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Zambeef burns imported meat
By Mwala Kalaluka in Chisamba
Thu 25 July 2013, 14:01 CAT

ZAMBEEF yesterday burnt all its imported beef products following the government's findings that some of them contained aromatic aldehyde.

And Zambia National Farmers Union president Jervis Zimba described yesterday as a sad day for Zambeef but that the company management had learnt their lesson.

Meanwhile, the government has commended Zambeef for destroying the contaminated meat. In his opening remarks, Zambeef public relations manager Justo Kopulande explained that the burning conducted at its Chisamba Huntley Farm around mid-day was simple and straightforward.

"We can just say that events of the last three months have brought us together and our programme is very simple and straightforward," he said. "We will move from the high table. We will move across to what we have prepared to torch over there."
Zambeef board chairperson Dr Jacob Mwanza said following the events of the last month the company had taken a clear and unequivocal decision to return to its roots and deal exclusively in Zambian beef products only.
"I would like to make it clear that the products that we are going to destroy this afternoon represent those products which have been fully approved by the Ministry of Health," he said. "We are drawing a line; a very clear distinctive line between what we have been doing in the past and what we are going to do in future. We are going to stop all imports to ensure that we focus our business on purely Zambian beef."

Dr Mwanza said the disposal of all imported beef products was done in consultation with the Ministry of Health and that it has been done to give the Zambian public the company's unwavering commitment to selling locally-bred and produced beef.

"Since June 20, 2013 and from this day forward, only Zambian beef products will be on offer in our outlets," Dr Mwanza said. "We thank the Ministry of Health for their guidance and advice on this matter."
Asked about the exact quantity of imported beef products that were going to be torched, Dr Mwanza said he could not expressly indicate the quantity because some of the seized products were still with the Ministry of Health.

"They haven't given us the details yet but it should be a very small proportion," he said. "We have a job to do and we have a company to run."

Dr Mwanza said there was need for foreclosure on the matter so that Zambeef continues its contribution to the growth of the agriculture sector and the Zambian economy.

And Zimba said he was forced to forego the long speech that he should have delivered at the event because he had realised that it was a sad day for Zambeef.

"I would like to congratulate Zambeef for taking a very bold decision to voluntarily destroy all imported meat products," Zimba said. "What has happened in the last one month should be put behind us and I would like to appeal to consumers to trust Zambeef as all the beef and meat products currently in retail shops is 100 per cent local."

He said it was a trying moment for the company that employs over 5, 000 people.

"I would also urge you to put this behind you as management as some lessons have been learnt," said Zimba.

Zambeef chief executive officer Francis Grogan pledged the company would maintain its 100 per cent Zambian brand.

"Zambeef is 100 per cent committed to Zambia," said Grogan.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Health spokesperson Dr Kamoto Mbewe said the enforcement of the Public Health and Food and Drug laws was not meant to persecute traders but to safeguard public health.

He said the ministry was delighted to be part of the process where Zambeef was complying with the law.

"We thank Zambeef for having complied with the law," said Dr Mbewe.
Following the speeches, Kopulande directed the gathering to an open ground where a pile of firewood was heaped with boxes of offals and kidneys placed below the stack.

"At this time we are going to stand down from the high table and take a short walk across to where we will be torching…the chairman and Dr Kamoto Mbewe are going to torch the products. We are torching, there we go," said Kopulande as the stack of firewood got engulfed by flames and the gathering headed towards some tables where there was roasted beef and salads.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home