The Certified Karoo Meat of Origin certification mark guarantees the origin of Karoo meat. This document specifically deals with Karoo Lamb and Mutton produced and slaughtered in the Karoo region as defined herein. Only lamb and mutton originating from (that is, born in) the Karoo, will qualify. The name KAROO LAMB or KAROO MUTTON denotes the origin of sheep meat products and can be associated to carcasses, freshly packed or frozen meat or derivative products complying with these Standards.
The code of production practices for Karoo lamb and mutton producers ties in very closely with the code of practice of good stockmanship and animal welfare, but includes specific practices to protect the origin identification of the product as well as to ensure the unique characteristics of the final product.
The Karoo's reputation is well attached to the principle of free range production. Animals should therefore have free access to natural veldt grazing, clean water and may have simultaneous free access to additional animal feed containing cereals, silage or any other natural plant matter but only provided as supplementary feeding ("byvoeding") to assist during dry spells and to improve the condition of animals during the reproductive cycle.
The Karoo name may not be attached to any animal originating from feed lots or that have grazed on lucerne or other planted pastures because this is not in line with the Karoo image of free range production and will not provide the sensory attributes linked to free range production. Likewise, animals that are reared on permanent pastures will also not qualify for the meat of origin label. It follows that animals must be reared predominantly on natural veldt for it to be considered Karoo mutton or lamb.
The main focus of the Certified Karoo Meat of Origin scheme is to certify the origin of lamb and mutton as from the Karoo. The mark brings into play "origin based certification" but this origin - the Karoo - has a free range, wholesomeness and pristine identity.
The Karoo region is defined with reference to local municipalities listed in Schedule A (below) and the lamb producers farming within these municipal boundaries qualify for use of the certification mark, provided compliance with the standards presented here can be shown.
Schedule A comprises of local municipalities in which it was found that the following typical Karoo bushes occur naturally, constituting the predominant indigenous vegetation, namely, Plinthus karrooicus ("Silverkaroo"), Pentzia spinescens ("Skaapbossie"), Eriocephalus ericoides ("Kapokbossie"), Salsola glabrescens ("Rivierganna"), Pentzia incana ("Ankerkaroo") and Pteronia glauca / Rosenia humilis ("Perdebos"). It has scientifically been shown that the reputation or distinctive character of KAROO LAMB mainly derives from indigenous veldt vegetation consisting of the said species.
In addition the local municipalities listed in Schedule B (below) can also qualify as forming part of the Karoo region, but a prospective producer or farm is required to first be inspected by an independent certification body in order to verify that at least two of the identified Karoo bushes [Plinthus karrooicus ("Silverkaroo"), Pentzia spinescens ("Skaapbossie"), Eriocephalus ericoides ("Kapokbossie"), Salsola glabrescens ("Rivierganna"), Pentzia incana ("Ankerkaroo") and Pteronia glauca / Rosenia humilis ("Perdebos")] are present on more than 60% of the area of specified grazing camps on the specific farm in similar ratios to those encountered on farms situated in the local municipalities listed in Schedule A (below).
|Inxuba Yethemba||Eastern Cape||DC13|
|Karoo Hoogland||Northern Cape||DC6|
|Beaufort West||Western Cape||DC5|
|Kai !Garib||Northern Cape||DC8|
|Nama Khoi||Northern Cape||DC6|
|Sol Plaatjie||Northern Cape||DC9|
|Prince Albert||Western Cape||DC5|
|The former WCDMA02 included since 2008 in the northern portion of the Witzenberg local municipality (see Western Cape provincial notice 6518, 29 April 2008)||Western Cape||DC2|
|Blue Crane||Eastern Cape||DC10|
In the spirit of defining the Karoo region as inclusive as possible, and given that the boundaries of the Karoo are never exact, it is also possible for farms located in local municipalities outside the demarcated region, but bordering the municipalities in Schedule B, to be classified as part of the Karoo. In such cases farmers should provide scientific evidence that the vegetation on the farm(s) in question resembles typical Karoo vegetation as for schedule B. This evidence should then be verified by an independent auditing firm to ensure that the farms can be certified as farms in the Karoo. Farmers will be expected to carry the costs of this auditing process but in the case of emerging farmers the KDF will subsidise the costs.
A map of the Karoo Region as defined:
In order to qualify for certification farmers need to provide evidence that their farms are located in the Karoo region as identified above. They also need to provide proof that they practice free range production systems on indigenous veldt and that animals are not grazing on permanent pastures. The reputation or distinctive character of the meat of the KAROO derives from free range grazing or production on indigenous veldt vegetation. Hence only lamb that feeds freely from indigenous veldt, in sizable camps representative of the identified typical Karoo vegetation, and that has access to clean water, qualifies for use of the name KAROO LAMB.
The occasional use of additional feeding supplements that may contain cereals, silage or any other natural plant matter, provided as supplementary feeding ("byvoeding"), for example, to assist during dry spells and to improve the condition of animals during the reproductive cycle, may be allowed to a maximum of 30% of the total intake/ daily requirements. The supplementary feeding must be given while the animal is still grazing on the Karoo veldt?and roaming freely. Only registered brand names may be fed of which the composition is known to the farmer. It can consist of added minerals, urea, good quality hay and/or any other acceptable forms of supplementation. Feed not to contain any feedstuff known for excess heavy metal and pesticide disposition. Added antibiotics and other chemical additives (e.g. ionophores, etc.) are not allowed in the feed of any animal. During supplementary feeding, feed bins/troughs must be cleaned regularly, ensuring that old and damp feed is removed to prevent souring. Keep accurate written records of all supplementary feed, fed to animals on the farm.
Lamb originating from feed lots (as opposed to free grazing) does not qualify for use of the name KAROO LAMB; free range grazing or production is a specific requirement as it is acknowledged as a contributing factor to the taste or sensory attributes of KAROO LAMB.
Likewise, lamb mainly reared on cultivated or planted pastures, does not qualify to be described as KAROO LAMB. In addition the following general production practices should be adhered to:
Animals must be handled in such a way that does not compromise their welfare. Animals may be brought off the veld and kept in pens only for the following:
After completion of the first four processes, the animals must be returned to veld immediately. Farms must have well maintained handling facilities. The facilities must be well designed to ensure the easy flow of sheep through the facility. It must be free from sharp edges, corners and broken rails that may cause the sheep to injure them.
Owners and managers should ensure that the sheep are monitored on a routine basis to assess the overall health of the flock. An animal health program must be in place and reviewed at least annually. Growth stimulants: All growth stimulants, either hormonal or anti-microbial and administered in whatever way to the animal, are prohibited. Anti- microbial drugs: The prophylactic (preventative) treatment with any anti-microbial drug is not allowed in this program.
Camp stocking rates should be such as to ensure that the natural environment and general plant condition and density are not adversely affected (preventing over-grazing). Indigenous veldt must be rested (not be exposed to over-grazing) from time to time to ensure optimum growth and production (a planned and scientific veldt rotational system should be used). High pressure points (water troughs, lick bins, etc.) must be managed to minimize damage caused by trampling.
Water sources must be capable of supplying sufficient amounts of cold, fresh and clean water to meet the requirements of healthy, grazing sheep. Water points should be clean and free of excessive mud in and around water troughs. Drinking troughs must be cleaned on a regular basis to eliminate the growth of algae and the deposit of waste feed and other contaminants.
Abattoirs slaughtering animals for sale under the certification mark must comply with all the requirements for food safety and traceability. It is therefore expected that sheep will be slaughtered at abattoirs registered with the Red Meat Abattoir Association of South Africa and will have a HAS rating of at least 75%. It will be expected of the abattoir to supply the summary page of the HAS audit report to the auditor. This will be forwarded to KDF with the KMOO audit report. An important factor contributing to the quality of Karoo Lamb is the relative short distances animals travel to the abattoirs. Stress levels of animals are lower and in support of good animal ethics and animal health standards, animals should not be transported for more than 250 kilometres to an abattoir. Abattoirs also need to comply with food safety regulations applicable to the meat industry as well as The Meat Safety Act. In addition these role players must have an operational traceability system in place that has been approved by SAMIC, which competently verify the origin of carcasses and meat products in terms of these Rules. Added to this the abattoir needs to use the prescribed roller mark and meat stamp as more fully described later in the document.
Only animals from certified farms will qualify to be sold with the certification mark.
Only carcasses falling in the following categories of the South African meat classification system (as specified in Meat Classification Regulations No R863 published in the RSA Government Gazette of 1 September 2006) qualify for certification as Karoo lamb/mutton meat of origin:
|Breed||Preferably meat breed types with good bone: muscle ratio with an even fat distribution.|
|Carcass mass||A-grades||>14 but < 25kg|
|AB-grade||>14 but <29kg|
|B-grades||>14 but <31kg|
|C-grades||>14 but <31kg|
|Classification||Age classes||A, AB, B and C|
|Fat classes||1 to 6|
|Conformation||3, 4 and 5|
|Damage||Only F1 damage allowed|
|Entity||Cost Excluding VAT (Rand)||15% VAT||Total cost|
|Farmer||R 1500.00||R 225.00||R 1725.00|
|Abattoir||R 1500.00||R 225.00||R 1725.00|
|Meat Packer/ Processor||R 1500.00||R 225.00||R 1725.00|
|Stores/butcheries selling meat pre- packed by somebody else||R 1500.00||R 225.00||R 1725.00|
|Butcheries receiving whole carcasses and packed by themselves||R 1500.00||R 225.00||R 1725.00|
|Entity||Cost (Rand)||15% VAT||Total cost|
|Farmer||R 0.18/HA||EX-VAT||R 0.18/HA|
|Abattoir||R 3600.00||R 540.00||R 4140.00|
|Meat Packer/ Processor||R 1100.00||R 165.00||R 1265.00|
|Stores/butcheries selling meat pre-packed by somebody else||R 1100.00||R 165.00||R 1265.00|
|Butcheries receiving whole carcasses packed by themselves||R 1100.00||R 165.00||R 1265.00|