Since the 1930s, the organised red meat industry in South Africa contributed financially to Research and Development (R & D). Contributions to R & D were made through the Meat Board, various individual organisations like cattle breeders’ associations, SAMIC (South African Meat Industry Company) and the RMRDT (Red Meat Research and Development Trust of SA). Since 2006, the RMIF (Red Meat Industry Forum of SA) contributed financially to R & D concerned with red meat production processes and products derived from red meat-producing livestock.
The Red Meat Research and Development Trust of South Africa (RMRDT) was established in 1997, through the initiative of the Meat Board’s members. This was in preparation for the envisaged closing of the Board in accordance with the Marketing of Agricultural Products Act no 47 of 1996, as amended. The Meat Board donated R15 million to the Trust. The interest on this capital plus monies accrued over time is used annually to support research projects of merit.
The RMRDT is overseen by appointed trustees.
Role of the trustees
They perform the following functions:
- manage the financial affairs, including proper investment of funds;
- approve the project budget as presented by the planning committees; and
- make the funds available for the research projects to be conducted by the research institutions.
- establishment and functioning of livestock improvement schemes, like the central performance testing stations for beef cattle and pigs;
- improving research facilities at universities and the Meat Industry Centre at Irene;
- execute numerous research projects, many leading to postgraduate qualifications of research personnel.
Since 1998, between R1 million and R2 million was allocated annually to R & D projects.
The red meat industry does not perform research but outsources the task to recognised research institutions. Institutes like the ARC (Agricultural Research Council), universities and provincial departments of agriculture.
For more information on the RMRDT visit the RMIF website Red Meat SA