Middle East Regional Manager for Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), Ian Ross, recently attended MLA’s Beef Industry Projections seminar in Australia during which indicators for world beef markets were reviewed. In the light of strong global demand and the continuing increase of Australian beef exports to the Middle East region, industry councils, meat processors and Australian farmers were among the industry personnel discussing the demand and structural change in cattle markets during the last six months. Beef exports to the Middle East, for the financial year to date, have increased by 59% to 1,063 tonnes.
Trade issues, cost efficiency, sustaining high quality and competitiveness with other meat products in the rapidly evolving Middle East market were among the issues which were discussed in this bi-annual meeting. During the visit, Government licensing agencies such as Australian Quarantine and Inspection Services (AQIS) were updated on the positive reception of Australian meat in the UAE and KSA markets during the first half of the 2006-07 financial year. These increases are largely due to the taste and tenderness of Australian beef and the nation’s reputation for world leading food safety systems and Government supervised Halal program.
As the representative for Australian meat and livestock producers, processors and exporters in the Middle East, MLA discussed the factors that contributed to the development and success of Australian meat trade into the region.
MLA also met with Cattle Council of Australia and Sheepmeats Council of Australia, organizations which represent Australian farmers, to discuss supplies and future market considerations such as the rise in the ‘fine dining’ sector in the UAE and the increasing consumer confidence in Australian food safety systems and Halal procedures. Fifteen Australian meat exporting companies were similarly updated.
Partaking in one of the meetings with the Middle East Regional Manager for MLA was David Inall, Executive Director of the Cattle Council in Australia, who said: “The Middle East is an exciting market and it is very satisfying for Australian beef farmers to see the new growth which is emerging. Clearly, if the beef sector remains focused on consumers needs, it will continue to enjoy this strong demand and increasing share in the Middle East market.”
The food service market in the Middle East is growing rapidly, particularly in Dubai (UAE) where there is extraordinary growth in the hotel industry with 200 new hotels expected within 5 years. This provides an excellent opportunity for Australian meat exporting companies. Ian Ross’ meetings were aimed to provide an up-to-date and succinct analysis of current industry trends and developments.
Frank Porcaro, Sales Director at T&R Pastoral Company, a leading South Australian meat exporter, commented by saying: “We have, for several years, recognized the opportunities in the region. For the past five years, we have been developing a better understanding of this market, strengthening our relationships and have, consequently, been able to better meet the strong market demand from the region.”