UAE Minister of Environment and Water updates Dubai Chamber members about developments in meat import sector

UAE Minister of Environment and Water updates Dubai Chamber members about developments in meat import sector

As part of its efforts to facilitate communication between the public and private sectors, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry hosted a second open dialogue between its members operating in the frozen and chilled meat sector and UAE Government officials at its head office recently.

In attendance were; H.E. Dr. Rashid Ahmad Bin Fahad, UAE Minister of Environment & Water, who delivered a key note speech, Dr. Hashim Al Nuaimi, Director, Consumer Protection Department, UAE Ministry of Economy, and Mr. Khalid Mohamed Sharif, Director, Food Control Department, Dubai Municipality, who gave presentations.

His Excellency encouraged frozen and chilled meat traders to import according to international health regulations and he pointed out that there are new markets.

He said that the Ministry was communicating with certain countries to adopt the halal certificate in these new markets.

With regards to lifting restrictions on importing meat from certain countries, His Excellency said that this should only be done once all health criteria is met.

H.E. Hamad Buamim, Director General, Dubai Chamber, who also attended the meeting, praised the role of the ministry in supporting trade and said that meetings such as this were an important part of improving the business climate.

“We realise that strong partnerships are central to business success. For improvements to be made within a specific sector we first need to understand what the obstacles are. These open dialogues are a vital way the private sector can raise issues and give their feedback to the Government in order for them to address any necessary change,” said Buamim.

“We welcome the participation of His Excellency and his fellow Government officials in this process and seek to enhance our cooperation with them,” he added.

The meeting follows the first open dialogue in March, during which business representatives working in the frozen and chilled meat sector discussed issues they currently face, including restrictions on importing meat from certain countries due to health reasons.

During his presentation on behalf of the Food Control Department, Mr. Sharif updated attendees about food import and export requirements, highlighting the process and saying that all shipments had to be registered with the relevant authorities.

He spoke to the meeting about approving labels for packaged food items, the language of food labels and the minimum requirement of Arabic on a food label. He highlighted the date marking requirements on food products, halal certification and the instances under which food assignments will be detained at the port.

Sharif also updated attendees about the health export certificate and procedures to improve food import services.

Meanwhile, during his presentation, Dr. Nuaimi explained that the price of meat has risen due to a reduction in imports. He said that in 2007, some 47,000 tonnes of meat was imported into the UAE, compared to 17,000 tonnes in 2010.