Karoo Lamb

Karoo meat of origan

Website: www.karoomeatoforigin.com

One of the objectives of the KDF is to protect the natural and cultural assets of the Karoo against misappropriation and to make sure the people of the Karoo are able to extract value and a decent livelihood from exploiting, in a sustainable way, these assets. One of these well-known assets of the region is certainly “Karoo Lamb”. This name has unfortunately over the years been abused and falsely attributed to lamb from other regions.

One of the first achievements of the KDF was to act on the requests from the Karoo farmers and Karoo abattoirs to find a sensible way of protecting the name Karoo lamb. After many years of consultation with farmers and communities in the Karoo the KDF successfully registered a certification mark (Karoo Meat of Origin) and a protocol for a certification scheme in 2010/11. This made it possible that Karoo Lamb may only be called Karoo Lamb if it complies with the rules of certification. As a result of the initial work by the KDF the South African government could submit the certification rules to the EU, which enabled Karoo Lamb to be protected in the EU market after the new Free trade Agreement between the EU and South Africa, was signed in October 2016.

For more details on the Certification Scheme and how to apply to become an authorised user of the mark please visit the website: www.karoomeatoforigin.com


The Karoo region evokes images of, windmills, sheep farms, endless vistas, hospitality and wholesome food. The region’s economy draws on the reputational value of the term “Karoo”, which derives from the remote and pristine environment with its clean water and air.

Now for the first time the Certified Karoo Meat of Origin mark guarantees the origin and quality of the Karoo meat.

The Certification Mark

  • The mark is owned by the Karoo Development foundation
  • The mark certifies the origin of mutton and lamb and that the specification in the rules if use if the mark have been complied with.

Who can use the mark?

  • Only registered and certified farmers, abattoirs, meat processors, butchers, retailers and restaurateurs who are in compliance with the rules of the certification scheme will be allowed to use the mark.
  • Authorised users will be allowed to affix the mark to carcasses, freshly packed meat and derivative products and may use the mark on associated packaging, labeling and advertising material.
  • Inspections and audits will be undertaken regularly by a qualified independent organization appointed by the Karoo Development Foundation.

Specifications for certified Karoo meat of origin

The certification mark guarantees that:

  • Mutton or lamb originates from the Karoo in that the sheep were born in the Karoo or raised in the Karoo region for at least six continuous months before slaughtering.
  • Sheep grazed freely on natural veldt and were not raised in feedlots.
  • The animals did not graze on permanent pastures six months before slaughtering.
  • No growth hormones were used.
  • Carcass classification
    • Age classes A, AB, B & C
    • Fat classes 1 to 6
    • Carcass conformation 3 to 5
  • The Code of Practice of  Good Stockmanship and Animal Welfare Practices have been adhered to.
  • Meat can be traced back to the farm of origin.
  • Slaughtering and processing facilities comply with official food safety standards including HACCP.

The Karoo Development Foundation is an inter vivos trust (nr IT1498/2009) established in terms of Section 6 (1) of the Trust Property Control Act (Act 57 of 1988). The trustees have a common vision and concern about the future of the Karoo and its development potential.  The Foundation is investing in the reputational assets of the Karoo such as its natural beauty, crafts, sheep meat and tourism.


Prof Johann Kirsten
Chair: Meat of Origin Karoo (the NPC formed to managed the Certification process)
Email: jkirsten@sun.ac.za

Ms Christa Malan
Office Manager: Meat of Origin Karoo
Email: KMOO@cmcon.co.za