This morning the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SAFDA) approved the lifting of the ban for meat and red products from South Africa. This follows inspections by SAFDA done in June 2023 at South African abattoirs and feedlots for compliance in terms of market access protocols and halaal certification into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The approval by SAFDA is direct outcome of the State Visit by President Ramaphosa to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in October last year. On the margins of the State Visit to Saudi Arabia, Ministers Thoko Didiza and Ebrahim Patel met Minister Khalid Al Falih, Minister of Investment Saudi Arabia, SAFDA, together with the South African Meat industry players.  A task team from both sides was established together with industry to facilitate the market access protocol for meat and red meat products from South Africa into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Minister Patel expressed his delight at this outcome and welcomed the lifting of the ban of meat and red products stating:

“The halaal meat market globally is huge. South Africa already has a strong presence in markets like the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia. The Saudi market is valued at over $5 billion. South Africa offers a premium quality meat product and we look forward to exporting our meat products. We will work with industry and retailers through store promotions and exhibiting at upcoming events in Saudi Arabia. Minister Didiza and I worked closely together and I want to appreciate her Department’s efforts. We would like to thank the meat industry and Halaal authorities working in partnership with Government in achieving this outcome”

Minister Didiza said this achievement did not come easily. It is the result of a lot meetings and preparations that our team put in. The fact that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia granted us this market access soon after their audit attests to the safety of our beef, our intact biosecurity as well as the compliant state of our abattoirs, and feedlots.

“We are hoping to also have the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia also grant access to our poultry meat, which they are still assessing,” said Minister Didiza

South African meat industry players such as Karan Beef, Beef Master, Good Hope Meats recently exhibited their meat products at the Saudi Food Expo in Riyadh 20-22 June 2023 and South African products were well received by the Saudi market.

For media enquiries please contact Mr Bongani Lukhele Director: Media Relations, Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) on  079 5083 457 or  Mr Reggie Ngcobo Media Liaison Officer Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development on 066 2980 980

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