European Union Market Access Constraints for Fresh Bovine Meat from the Republic of South Africa
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The European Union (EU) prohibits the import of fresh bovine meat from the Republic of South Africa (RSA). The research investigates the EU market access constraints for fresh bovine meat from the RSA. It states that “the beef production chain in the RSA, as a developing country, has not been able to keep pace with the changes of EU legislation for food safety and quality for fresh bovine meat”. A literature search is done and informal discussions have taken place with stakeholders to identify issues that potentially could cause EU market access constraints for fresh bovine meat from the RSA. Ten experts in the RSA are identified and have joined the expert opinion survey, in which the experts have scored the issues. Thirteen issues are identified that potentially could cause market access constraints for fresh bovine meat from the RSA to the EU. The thirteen issues are scored by the experts. The three issues with the highest score in causing EU market access constraints for fresh bovine meat from the RSA are: 1 the use of growth hormones in fresh bovine meat of the RSA and/or control of veterinary drugs that are prohibited in the EU; 2 the traceability and registration throughout the beef production chain; and 3 the definite political agenda by the EU to prevent competition from producers in the RSA. The legislation of the RSA does not prohibit the use of growth hormones nor require implementation of a traceability system in the beef supply chain. The investigator concludes that especially the implementation of an adequate traceability system will significantly contribute to more competitiveness and food safety in the beef production chain, despite the different circumstances (sanitary, economic and structural) that exists in the RSA comparing it with the EU. In addition, a large informal market exists in the RSA. These communal areas contain large untapped areas and need further development in order to enter the commercial market. This will add to global competitiveness and food safety. Furthermore, international harmonization processes of SPS standards should be made with much more effective participation of developing countries. Developing countries should join together to take in a joint position regarding the issues of international trade.