The red meat industry considers Research and Development and the transfer of technology within the industry of prime importance to the successful future of the industry.
The red meat industry acknowledges the need for R & D and technology transfer. As there is invariably a scarcity of funds to do these, systems were implemented through which the industry contributes financially to R & D projects of merit. The funds available derive from the interest on the Red Meat Research and Development Trust of South Africa (RMRDT) and from statutory levies. The Red Meat Industry Forum (RMIF) applied for the establishment of these levies on slaughter stock and their products.
Since the 1930’s, the organized Red Meat Industry in South Africa contributed financially to R & D, when the Meat Board supported the developmental research of the Dorper sheep. Through ensuing years, the Meat Board, various individual organisations like cattle breeders’ associations, SAMIC (South African Meat Industry Company), RMRDT (Red Meat Research and Development Trust of SA) and 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.
These included the funding of the establishment and functioning of Livestock Improvement Schemes (like the central performance testing stations for beef cattle and pigs), research facilities (at universities and the Meat Industry Centre at Irene) and the execution of numerous research projects – many of them leading to post graduate qualifications of research personnel. The Red Meat Industry does not do the research itself but outsource the task to recognised research institutions, like institutes of the ARC (Agricultural Research Council), universities and Provincial Departments of Agriculture.