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Ranchers Finest, Uganda’s Processed Meat Giant, Banks On Traceability System To Ensure Safety Amidst FMD Concerns

Ranchers Finest staff preparing meat for processing

A number of districts across Uganda have been put under quarantine for several months following the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in those areas.

This means that animal products from the affected areas are not safe for consumption.

However, some companies are maintaining the highest standards of safety and hygiene while processing meat and sausages for both local and foreign markets.

Ranchers Finest Ltd, a key player in processed meats and sausages, is taking the lead in ensuring safety for its customers.

Ranchers Finest’s Bwaise based plant processes between 5 to 10 tonnes of meat per day due to limited supply, but they have capacity to process 20 tonnes a day. While addressing the media in Kampala on Monday, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Collin Muyanja, said, “We understand the importance of producing food that is not only delicious but also safe for consumption. The health and well-being of our customers are at the forefront of everything we do.”

Although Muyanja says that FMD does not affect the safety of meat products “that have undergone proper traceability, processing, and inspection,”  the company has in place measures to ensure the quality and safety of its products.

 

“From rigorous sanitation protocols to state-of-the-art equipment, every step of our production process is carefully monitored and controlled,” said Muyanja.

Ranchers Finest Ltd investment in the plant is worth over US$4 million.

According to Muyanja, its kiosk franchise and distribution expansion project is expected to create new employment opportunities for over 3,000 youth and women in the value chain. These, he said, include distribution teams and roadside and street grillers.

Currently, the company employs 170 Ugandans and exports its products to Kinshasa, South Sudan, and Tanzania.

However, Muyanja says that while the market is too big and their production capacity remains low- at between 5 and 10 tons per day.

According to Muyanja, the company lacks supplies.

“We need a strategy to achieve the right feedlot (for fattening) to achieve the right weight and quality of meat,” said Muyanja.

To avoid contamination, Muyanja says that Ranchers Finest works with specific farmer groups for purposes of traceability.

“We see that consumers are becoming more conscious of quality and acceptability on the export market. There is also a high demand for quality products locally. We are showing that we can get quality products at the right price,” added Muyanja.

He appealed to the government to intentionally strategize on helping farmers achieve the right nutrition in order for the farmers to get the right weight and quality.

Secondly, he appealed to the government to take care of government-to-government negotiations in a bid to lower taxes on the export market. Because of high taxes, Muyanja says the products become expensive in the foreign market.

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