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The Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) a non- profit body was established by the newly independent Botswana government in 1965 whosemain function is the buying, slaughtering, processing and marketing of all beef and beef prod-ucts locally and internationallys from Botswana.[1][2] The BMC was established through an act of Parliament, Botswana Meat Commission Act(74:04). . The first abattoir was opened in Lobatse in 1934, but its activities remained relatively small until 1954 when, as a result of the increase in livestock production in the country, the then Colonial Government requested the Commonwealth Development Corporation to assist in the erection of a new abattoir at Lobatse. As a result, an abattoir was established under the name of Bechuanaland Protectorate Abattoirs Ltd. At this time, 50 percent of the share capital of the abattoir was held by the Colonial Development Corporation (which was also the managing agency of the abattoir), while the Bechuanaland Government and the Livestock Producers’Trust each held 25 percent.[3] A subsidiary company, the Export and Canning Co. Ltd. (ECCO) was also formed around this time to handle the company’s marketing overseas. In 1963 a Commission of Inquiry recommended that Bechuanaland Abattoirs Ltd be converted into a statutory corporation. As a result of the negotiations that followed between the government and the Colonial Development Corporation, the Bechuanaland Meat Commission was established. On 1st February 1966, with financial assistance from the government, the Botswana Meat Commission purchased the Colonial Development Corporation portion of the share capital in the Bechuanaland Protectorate Abattoirs Ltd. Today, the Botswana Meat Commission owns three abattoirs, Lobatse Abattoir, which serves as the headquarters of the Commission, Maun Abattoir and Francistown Abattoir following in 1983 and 1989 respectively.[4] The Maun Abattoir was closed indefinitely in 1996 due to shortage of cattle supply and re-opened in April 2010. The BMC has had a significant contribution to the development of the country over the years.[5]

Facilities and subsidiaries

The BMC is headquartered in Lobatse. Its facilities consist of an integrated complex which includes an abattoir, canning, tanning and by-products plants.[2] A throughput of 8000 cattle and 500 small stock are handled on a daily basis. The BMC also operates two branch abattoirs, one in Maun and the other in Francistown, with respective capacities of 100 cattle per day and 400 cattle and 150 small stock per day.[6]

Along with its core business, the BMC owns transport companies in Botswana. On an international scale, it also owns marketing subsidiaries in European countries including the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands,[2] and cold storage facilities in the UK and South Africa. It also owns an insurance company in the Cayman Islands.[7]

Operations

The BMC co-ordinates the production of beef from a national herd grazing on predominantly communal ranch lands which cover a large portion of the country. The population of the cattle suffered a notable decline between the 1980s and the early 2000s, with numbers decreasing from roughly three million to about 1,700,000.[8]

The company is closely monitored by the Botswana Veterinary Services for quality control. All stages of its production are certified to the ISO 9002 quality system. Chilled vacuum-packed beef cuts have a shelf-life of six months provided that the cold chain is maintained at a constant, specified minimum temperature. BMC also produces frozen boneless beef for manufacturing purposes with a two-year shelf-life as well as corned beef and other canned beef products for export. A 2005 report cited the company's European quota of frozen beef as 19,000 tonnes per year.[8]

Corporate governance

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References

  1. ^ History and organization Archived 2016-11-05 at the Wayback Machine Official Botswana Meat Commission website. Retrieved 2016-11-05.
  2. ^ a b c Botswana Meat Commission at www.bitc.co.bw. Retrieved 2016-11-05.
  3. ^ Mnjama, Nathan (2000-06-01). "Managing Records for ISO Compliance: record keeping at the Botswana Meat Commission". Information Development. 16 (2): 70–74. doi:10.1177/0266666004240279. ISSN 0266-6669. S2CID 58376616.