By Gavin Gibbon
How Muscat Livestock & Trading is combatting cattle fears over greenhouse gases with Climate Neutral Now commitment
Muscat Livestock & Trading (MLS) has become the first carbon neutral company in Oman.
MLS has committed to the United Nations’ Climate Neutral Now initiative - estimating, reducing and compensating its greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to make no net release into the atmosphere.
This is quite a commitment, given that cattle is the number one agriculture source – around 14.5 percent - of greenhouse gases worldwide.
Consultant Paul Ross, told Arabian Business: “Cattle gets a bad wrap as an unfriendly producer of climate-changing greenhouse gas and cows can actually be part of the climate change solution.
“With the escalating effects of climate change, that’s why people are being encouraged to eat less beef and turn vegan. They say it’s an unsustainable diet in a world where the population is expected to hit 10 billion by 2050, but giving up meat is not an environmental panacea or blueprint solution.
“The bigger issue is shrinking livestock’s carbon hoofprint. If you look at India, it’s got the world’s largest cattle population, but it’s got the lowest beef consumption of any country, so cows live longer and therefore emit more methane over their lifetime.”
Founded in 2008 by father and son Abdul Majeed and Naveed Ahmed in Oman, MLS is one of the sultanate’s leading procurers, processors, and marketers of beef, lamb, and mutton.
MLS has joined stakeholders from around the globe that have promised to effectively help implement the Paris Agreement to accelerate the change needed to reach greenhouse gas emission neutrality by 2050, while also supporting the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Climate change is happening and action is needed now,” said Salim Ahmed Sultan Al’Dighaishi, director, MLS.
“It is more important than ever to engage everyone in global climate action and to collaborate towards a climate neutral world. We hope that by joining a UN level international campaign we will encourage other organisations in Oman to understand the vital importance of measuring, reducing and offsetting carbon emissions to help tackle climate change now and create a more sustainable future.”
Pre-Covid, MLS was operating as a business to business brand. Nadeem Ahmed, director MLS, revealed that, during the Covid-19 pandemic, a switch to ecommerce with a more consumer-led focus, saw traffic to the company’s online store, which was launched in mid-July, recognised in the top two percent of stores by global outfit Shopify.
“We are aware the environmental footprint of cattle has been a contentious issue but with sustainability initiatives such as Climate Neutral Now there’s a realisation that the beef industry is making an effort to head in the right direction,” said Ahmed.
MLS is also offsetting its emissions through the purchase of a wind energy project in Mongolia, while Ahmed revealed the company is advocating a reduction in food waste by using secondary cuts.
He explained: “We work with our farmers to grow animals and we use the whole animal as well as educating chefs and consumers.
“Prime cuts we all know and love, but secondary cuts can be just as delicious. These underutilised pieces of meat are also a cut above.”