Bengal Meat Moves Fast to Ensure Smooth Supply Chain

| 02/02/2009 | Reply

Mushir Ahmed

Global economic recession has bit into Bengal
Meat as plunging demand has caused the country’s lone meat processing
company to suspend mutton exports, an official said Saturday.

Senior
executive of the company Sharif Ahmed Chowdhury said the
Sirajganj-based company has suspended its mutton exports to Dubai’s
upmarket stores since November.

“Global economic downturn has
hit Dubai hard, resulting in a fall in demand for our goat meat. We
used to export one tonne of mutton a day to Dubai. But it has been
suspended in the last three months,” Chowdhury said.

The Tk 350
million plant can process 1000 goats and 100 cattleheads, but a cut in
global demand coupled with disruption in supply chain have affected its
capacity utilisation.

Presently, the company slaughters 8-10
cows and 15-100 goats a day, depending on the orders from chain
super-stores in the capital Dhaka. The company also exports one
container frozen beef a day.

According to the United Nations’
Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), Bangladesh has a population
of 25.35 million cattles and buffaloes and 38.16 million sheep and
goats.

But although the livestock population is quite large,
most of the country’s farmers do not know anything about rigorous
international quality standards involved in the rearing process.

As a result, Bengal Meat’s beef and mutton have concentrated mostly in the local markets where hygiene is not a big issue.

To
redress the situation, the company last week signed a deal with a
non-government organisation (NGO) for international standard-compliant
supply of cows, goats and sheep, Chowdhury said.

Under the deal,
farmers enlisted by Annanya, a north Bangladesh-based NGO, would supply
35-50 cattleheads a day, with all the cows to be raised according to
standards prescribed by the World Animal Health Organisation.

“Starting
from February, the farmers will use the global beef fattening standards
supplied by our company. It will ensure smooth supply of world’s top
standard beef within three months,” he said.

“Traceability —
the origin, how and where a cow is raised — is the number one issue
for export of beef. But unfortunately our farmers don’t have proper
idea about the issue,” he said.

In addition to training on
traceability, the farmers would be given a manual on the use of
anti-biotics for food and mouth disease, which causes deadly Mad Cow
disease among humans.

Set up in 2006, Bengal Meat is Bangladesh’s meat processing company which have ensured Australia-standard quality in its plant.

It
is also the first company to export meat from Bangladesh, trying to
snatch a share of a global Halal meat market worth over US$ 100
billions.

Category: Asia, Meat & Poultry

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