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Tue 11 Nov 2008 04:00 AM

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Australia meat-ing ME demand

The Middle East's F&B purchasers are increasingly relying on suppliers 'Down Under' to satisfy the market demand for quality red meat, a recent study has revealed.

The Middle East's F&B purchasers are increasingly relying on suppliers 'Down Under' to satisfy the market demand for quality red meat, a recent study has revealed.

The report, conducted by Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), the international marketing arm of Australian meat and livestock exporters, noted a 76% increase in red meat sales to the region in the second quarter of 2008.

"The Middle Eastern markets are among the world's largest consumers of Australian meat products and are set to become a significant trading post for the Australian red meat industry," said MLA regional manager for Middle East and Africa, Ian Ross.

This year, total export tonnes reached 8199 compared to the same period in 2007 when only 4654 tons were consumed, according to MLA.

The report also showed that major growth occurred across the full range of Australian red meat products, with beef and veal sales incurring the greatest percentage increase with a huge 234% collectively.

"This growth in red meat sales reflects [Australia's] reputation as a safe supplier of quality meat products," added MLA Middle East and Africa technical manager Rodney Sims.

In turn, the Middle East is targeting Australia as a potential market for its own food and beverage exports, according to the Dubai Export Development Corporation (DEDC).

In September 2008, the DEDC supported several UAE-based suppliers - including IFFCO, Al Ghurair Foods and Masafi - that exhibited at Melbourne's Fine Food Australia (FFA) Exhibition.

"As the official export promotion agency of the Dubai government, our role is to support F&B manufacturers in the UAE and help them develop and diversify their operations overseas," explained DEDC chief executive Eng. Saed Al Awadi.

"During this exhibition, Dubai and Australian firms discussed possible business partnerships and future aims. Eventually, we hope that this opportunity will cement future business deals," he concluded.

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