Bengal Meat trebles halal meat exports

| 25/03/2008 | Reply

Workers
of Bengal Meat Processing Industries Ltd, the lone and pioneer
processed halal meat exporter and domestic supplier, are processing
meat at the factory plant. “We have a huge market for processed halal
meet mainly in Middle East and Southeast Asia. But we are failing to
tap the potential as we cannot penetrate into their markets due to some
legal barriers,” says the CEO of the company.

Bengal
Meat Processing Industries Limited, the lone and pioneer processed
halal meat exporter and domestic supplier, has almost trebled its
export growth in a span of nine months.

The trend reflects the
sharp rise in demand for processed meat in Bangladesh at a time when
consumers have become increasingly concerned by reports of food
adulteration.

The company started exporting about 3 tonnes of
processed halal mutton a week to Dubai in May 2007, but now it exports
9 tonnes of mutton a week.

Besides, since September 2007, the
Bengal exported 12.5 tonnes of beef to Kuwait per week, but now its
weekly beef export to the country has reached 25 tonnes, according to
the company officials.

“We have been getting huge response
from Kuwait and from the next week we will double our export to the
country with sending 50 tonnes of halal beef to the country per week,”
Mostafizur Rahman, chief executive officer (CEO) of Bengal Meat, said.

The
business entity, which now requires 1,600 to 1,700 cows and 2,200 goats
every month to meet the growing demand in both foreign and domestic
markets, could also expand its export 20-25 times if the government had
extended proper support, its officials claimed.

“We have a
huge market for processed halal meat mainly in Middle East and South
East Asia. But we are failing to tap the potential as we cannot
penetrate into their markets due to some legal barriers,” Rahman added.

Dwelling on the barriers they are facing, he said being an
exporting country Bangladesh has no certification from any other
importing countries than Kuwait and Dubai. Such certification from any
importing country is mandatory for an exporting country, as the country
concerned is to satisfy the importer that the product exported does not
contain any hazardous elements and germs.

“As the respective
ministries of those particular countries issue export permission,
everyone except the government has a very little role to play in this
regard”, said Rahman.

Echoing his boss’s view on the
limitation to get such export permission, Mohammad Jalaluddin,
assistant manager (Marketing and Sales Support) of Bengal Meat, said,
“Despite our ability and growing market demand, we are unable to go for
market expansion.”

Meanwhile, the meat processor is eyeing to
grab the Malaysian market in two or three months as a team from that
country will visit Bangladesh soon to asses the standard the Bengal
Meat follows in processing the item.

“Only four-five markets
are enough to export all of our products. But those are yet to be
explored,” Mostafizur Rahman said, urging the government to resolve the
issue.

Officials said the company now has a capacity of
processing 20 tonnes of meat every day and 250 people are now working
with the company.

They also said that they maintained the
Australian standard in processing meat. Currently, Brazil, China, India
and Australia are the main suppliers of processed meat.

Besides
exporting meat to the international market, the company has also
concentrated on the local market with supplying around 2-3 tonnes of
meat a day and is expecting a supply of 10 tonnes a day shortly.

Now
around 1,068 shops and business entities, including five star hotels,
super shops and chain stores are the main consumers of processed meat
of the company.

People think processed meat is very pricey, but Bengal Meat takes only Tk10 more than the market rate of common meat.

As
buying and selling of processed meat remains a very new concept in
Bangladesh, the company is finding it difficult to convince shoppers
about the item.

But the scenario is changing, the company offuicials said.

“In
the beginning our marketing and supply chain officials could hardly get
order for more than five hundred kgs a day. But now we have reached 3
tonnes and it will certainly increase in coming days,” said Jalaluddin.

About the meat quality the officials said they got the supply
from their selected agents who collect cattle from different places of
the country.

“We have reached an agreement with our suppliers
that if we find any hazardous disease in the supplied cattle they are
bound to get the cattle back,” Jalaluddin said.

The officials
added that the supply chain of cattle of the country is not that much
good as the practice of farming cattle for non-milking and
non-cultivating purposes is very new.

“But this culture are
developing in the country as recently some farms have sprang up in the
norther region who exclusively rear cattle to supply us,” the Bengal
Meat CEO said.

On the business potential in the sector, he
said,“ We have a huge international market and we are in need of more
investment in the sector.”

He, however, urged the government
to withdraw duty on importing live animal for export purpose, as
finally meat export will generate more income.

Presently,
Bengal Meat is enjoying 20 per cent incentive on export, but they face
hardship as such incentive is given against opening L/C only.

Category: Asia, Meat & Poultry

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