Exports of Australian red meat to the Middle East reached 52,700 tonnes sw during 2005, a jump of 23 percent over the previous year. Exports primarily consist of sheepmeat with demand increasing significantly throughout the region.
Australia is a leading producer and exporter of red meat products with annual exports of 2,500,000 tonnes of meat products includes 910,000 tonnes of beef and veal, 141,000 tonnes of lamb and 141,000 tonnes of mutton.
Australian processors employ the most advanced international technologies and stringent hygiene standards and processes to ensure Australian red meat is fresh, safe and healthy for consumers to eat.
On top of this, processors who export to the Middle East also meet strict regulations on Sharia-compliant slaughter procedures set by GCC countries – these systems are audited by representatives from the GCC to ensure that products exported to the region meet religious requirements. These regulations are supported by Australian government legislation.
Graham Lyon, Middle East Export Marketing Manager for Fletcher International Exports (the largest exporters of sheepmeat in Australia) commented: “The Middle East has been the fastest growing region in the world for our trade in the last two years, and represents a vibrant market for Australian exporters in general.”
Graham said “Higher incomes, strong population growth and changes to the retail environment as well as the rising number of expatriates accustomed to red meat are the driving factors for growth in exports to GCC countries.”
Ian Ross, Regional Manager of Meat & Livestock Australia added: “Moreover, consumers in the Middle East are demanding fresher, healthier and more nutritious food’.
Feedback following the completion of recent market research in the region indicated that taste and nutrition have joined food quality and safety as important considerations for consumers.
The Gulf's population growth is amongst the highest in the world, and per capita income levels in the Middle East also increasing. The Middle East Hotel sector has been expanding exponentially, and has far surpassed 2001 growth. The UAE's food retail sector is estimated at more than $2.5 billion and annually grows by 5 to 10 per cent, with 70 per cent of Dubai's food imports re-exported to neighboring countries.
© 2006 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )