Research has always been imported to the Red Meat Industry, since 1930 has the Industry provided funds for research. Contributions to Research and Development were made by the Meat Board throughout its existence during the decades up to 1994. Various individual organisations like Cattle Breeders’ Associations, SAMIC (South African Meat Industry Company) and others contributed to red meat research at that time.
The Red Meat Industry Forum (RMIF) of South Africa is an association of 12 organisations and associations involved with the Red Meat Industry. It was formally constituted in 1997 in accordance with provisions in the Marketing of Agricultural Products Act no 47 of 1996 (as amended). It is thus regarded by the government as an affected party. It is the central body of the Red Meat Industry where policy decisions regarding matters affecting the organisation and functioning of the Red Meat Industry are deliberated and decisions taken. During 2005 the Forum applied to the Minister of Agriculture to institute statutory measures, through the implementation of a levy on slaughter stock and their products. Part of the proceeds of the levy funds is designated to Research and Development (R&D) .
The RMIF recognised that R & D and technology transfer should be done continuously on red meat production processes and on the products of red meat producing livestock. They acknowledged that these functions are cardinal to the progress of any industry. The absence of these would cause eventual industry stagnation, loss of market share and loss of the multiplying effect in the agricultural sector. The annual allocation from the RMRDT to fund industry agreed upon research projects was considered as insufficient to affect any real progress. Hence it was agreed that part of the levy funds would also be designated to R & D.
The Red Meat Levy Administrator (RMLA) is an agent which is employed by the Forum to collect and distribute the levy funds according to its approvals or decisions. The Forum considers and approves business plans of, amongst others, the Planning Committee (R & D) Cattle & Small Stock, Planning Committee (R & D) Pork and SAPPO (which has a section on R & D). These plans contain the research projects to be conducted as well as budgets for them. As funds become available from the collections of levies, the RMLA transfers funds for certain projects to the accounts of the RMRDT and SAPPO for further distribution to the research institutions which perform the research.
Both the RMRDT (Red Meat Research and Development Trust) and the MIT (Meat Industry Trust) were established in 1996. This was through the initiative of the Meat Board’s members. This was in preparation for the envisaged closing of the Meat Board in accordance with the amendment of the Marketing of Agricultural Products Act no 47 of 1996. The Meat Board donated R15 million and assets to the Trusts.