MEDIA STATEMENT 14 NOVEMBER: 14 November 2011 MEDIA STATEMENT The Association, whose members represent approximately 90% of all South African meat importers by volume, as well as a number of overseas exporters and associations, has been accepted and recognized both locally and internationally,as the industry spokesperson. AMIE is a member of the Red Meat Industry Forum (RMIF):AMIE’s primary objectives are to promote ethical trade, and strict adherence to all laws, regulations and protocols, ensuring honesty and transparency for all on a level playing field. AMIE, in terms of its constitution, supports all actions that promote fair trade and responsible and ethical commercial activity. In the light of the current controversy raging in the media involving the alleged actions of a Cape Town based food trader, we feel that it is incumbent upon us to clarify a few facts: AMIE has been rigorously combating fraud and misrepresentation in the industry for many years,and was very involved in bringing this matter to the attention of the RMIF. The trader in question is not, and never has been,a member of our Association. We condemn any actions that could compromise the health of consumers, as well as the illegal misrepresentation of products, including the replacement of labels in order to misrepresent non-Halal products as Halal. Meat imported into South Africa is of the highest standard and quality, and may only be imported in terms of a health certificate negotiated and approved by the South African Veterinary Directorate of Animal Health of the Department of Agriculture, Forestries and Fisheries (DAFF).The health certificates are based upon extremely strict protocols, many of them very similar to the standards demanded by the highly responsible and detailed European Union protocols. Furthermore, all containers of imported meat products are inspected at port of entry and a number of products require mandatory biological and bacteriological examination. Sadly, no amount of controls and investigations can prevent every attempt to fraudulently circumvent the strict regulatory environment, but we can confidently assure consumers of ongoing vigilance by all concerned, including AMIE, where compliance with the country’s health and border regulations plays an integral role in our very existence. AMIE condemns the illegal reworking of any product (local or imported) to alter its identity or nature to misrepresent it in any way. The large core of SA importers subscribe to the high standards of ethics and health controls that are required to supply quality products to a demanding market. We support any action taken by the organs of state, regulatory bodies, and industry representatives to eradicate fraud and misrepresentation,and to vigorously prosecute any party that breaches our country’s laws. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE ASSOCIATION OF MEAT IMPORTERS AND EXPORTERS OF SOUTH AFRICA ——————————————————————————————————————————–