No Raw Material No Industry

Newsletter No. 23 – February 2005 Item 1

The purpose of our newsletters is to keep our members informed of industry issues and developments.  The greatest challenge that our industry faces at this time is lack of production.  Frik Kriek summed it up well at the 2nd SA Industry conference in 2002.

NO RAW MATERIAL NO INDUSTRY

A major concern of many members is market development and understanding the markets.   All of us are confident of the demand for our products, but many are failing to capitalise on those opportunities.  Over the time I have been writing these newsletters I try to find market information that is relevant to our industry's marketing program.  A market research company employed by a major South African slaughter plant reported back that the biggest mistake the South African industry had made was to market through dealers and traders in Europe.  The meat was being treated as a commodity rather than as a niche product, which it should be while volumes are so very low.  Many newcomers to Ostrich production are not aware that the ostrich meat market is only about 10 years old, prior to that the South African industry was strictly controlled with single channel marketing focusing on feathers and leather.  Continuously we receive communication from those new to the industry stating they need to export their meat as the meat is new to their country.

The message is that Ostrich meat is new everywhere.

Dealers and traders have little or no concern on sustainability of supply, meat is simply a commodity.  They buy at the lowest price they can, sell at the best price they can and make sure they have their margin.   Ostrich meat represents a very small proportion of their overall turnover and do not traditionally 'market' the meat.  There is also a need for a sustainable supply chain to support any marketing initiative.

The principle of WOMRAD is recognising that our competition is not each other.  Our competition is the other specie.  Other specie are under pressure from many angles.  They have become increasingly efficient in their production methods in order to survive, and it is getting harder to cut margins through increasing efficiency further.   Ostrich, when farmed correctly, are proven to be extremely efficient, offering producers tremendous scope for very significant improvements in efficiencies.

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