The demand for high-quality beef is growing at an exponential rate across the world. To keep up with this growing demand, KARAN BEEF is working hard to develop a robust livestock supply chain. One way we do this is by collaborating closely with emerging cattle farmers, helping them grow and maintain quality cattle herds, and opening up a new marketing channel where they can sell their cattle at market-related prices. KARAN BEEF recently partnered with the Ratanda Farmers’ Association (RFA) in Heidelberg to assist the community in cattle farming.
The RFA consists of 78 farmers in Ratanda. The farmers used to house their cattle on communal land before they approached the Lesedi Municipality to allocate them land. When the first outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) was detected in March, a meeting was held between RFA and KARAN BEEF to inform the farmers about the risks of the virus and how to detect it in cattle. At NAMPO this year, another meeting was held by NERPO, the Red Meat Producers Organisation (RPO), and other stakeholders in the industry regarding the FMD outbreak. RFA Chairperson Joseph Mauku received an invite from Ivor Karan, founder of KARAN BEEF, to join them at the meeting to learn more about FMD. While at the event, KARAN BEEF and RFA realised they had the opportunity to work together. “We saw Joseph's passion for cattle farming when we were at NAMPO and knew that we could help the RFA association grow and develop a strong supply of high-quality cattle right on our doorstep,” explains KARAN BEEF Founder Ivor Karan.
KARAN BEEF took a multi-prong approach to help the RFA grow its farming operation. Strengthening their herd and introducing new genetics, KARAN BEEF will maintain a group of bulls the RFA farmers can select. There was an initial consultation where RFA farmers voiced some of their needs. “During the consultation, we asked for a handling facility, we asked for quality bulls, and we also asked for vet services and medication for our cattle,” elaborates RFA Chairperson Joseph Mauku.
KARAN BEEF donated 12 bulls to the local community, who are now ready to service the RFA herd, which was the first step needed for the RFA to start growing. “Through this bull programme, we as emerging farmers are now in a better position to strengthen our herd with quality and good genetics. We are very excited [about this partnership] as emerging farmers as the market barrier has now been broken,” Mauku highlights.
The Bull programme, holding facility, veterinary advice, and medical supplies are just the start of the partnership with KARAN BEEF. “Our calves are going to enter the market, and KARAN BEEF is going to be taking our calves at a market-related price,” highlights Mauku. It will empower the RFA farmers to continue investing in their farms and herds. It also helps uplift the community around them. “Ratanda is a community that is well informed about KARAN BEEF [who] is the biggest employer to the community. We see ourselves as partners with KARAN BEEF, and we are happy that we are going to be walking this journey with them. We are going to be learning more about farming, [gaining] more skills, and we can put bread on the table, take our kids to school, and it is also going to improve our lives and help the community at large,” Mauku says.
The development of emerging cattle farmers is key to KARAN BEEF’s continued dedication to providing quality beef products. “Partnering with emerging farmers benefits all parties. We can grow the beef product supply chain in South Africa while investing in communities in a way that provides long-term upliftment,” concludes Karan.
Watch the whole video about Joseph and the Bulls here.