Govt Asked to Import More Milk From SA

The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) has been requested by the Namibian Dairy Producers Association to increase the volumes of milk imported from South Africa in light of the acute shortage of locally produced milk currently experienced countrywide.

Confirming the request, chairperson of the Namibian Dairy Producers Association Japie Engelbrecht yesterday told New Era various factors have contributed to the current shortage of especially Namibian long-life full cream milk.

“At the heart of the severe shortage is the fact that the raw milk supply is still depressed as a result of the drought, but it is estimated that the demand for milk has grown by some 15 percent in recent months. We have therefore requested the MTI to up the imported milk products from South Africa until such a time when local producers will be able to meet the demands of local consumers. The ministry has been informed about our precarious situation and we are now awaiting feedback from them,” he says. The ironic twist in the milk saga that has been ongoing since last year comes in the wake of government intervention earlier this year to limit the amount of imported milk products after local producers were embroiled in a battle against low prices of imported milk from South Africa. Government was then confronted in a court case which it lost but immediately appealed against the ruling. The appeal case is pending.

Roux-Che Locke, group manager: external relations of the Ohlthaver and List Group of Companies which own Namibia Dairies says the current shortage of milk should be a temporary situation as Namibia Dairies has managed to implement numerous initiatives to address the current market dynamics.

However, a visit by New Era to seven retailers in town confirmed the acute shortage of mostly long-life full-cream milk, fresh full-cream and low-fat milk.

The frustrating situation unfolded about three weeks ago, just as Nammilk launched a promotion campaign “The Nammilk Way” to inform consumers of the good quality and nutritional value of locally produced, hormone-free milk. Locke confirmed the depressed raw milk supply due to the drought last year, but said the absence of certain milk types on the shelves would soon be something of the past.

Source : New Era