When Muslim customers buy Australian red meat, they can rest assured that it is not only fresh but also 100 percent halal, according to Nick Meara, international business manager for Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) — MENA.
Australia has one of the strictest halal programs in the world. The Australian Government Authorized Halal Program (AGAHP) is undertaken in collaboration with the Australian government’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and Islamic organizations in the country.
Important requirements of this program are that the animals are treated properly, have easy access to food and water and are free to roam.
Meara said that Australia, with its natural environment and high animal welfare standards, easily meets these requirements. “Additionally, all processing facilities in Australia employ only registered and trained Muslim slaughtermen. All slaughtermen are practicing Muslims and comply with their religious slaughter training based on Shariah principles,” he said.
Master Chef Tarek Ibrahim, the Middle East’s first master chef, said: “I have personally been to Australia and seen first hand the way animals are raised and the halal process that is being followed. As a Muslim, halal meat is very important to me and in my more than 30 years of experience traveling the world, I can confidently say that the Australian halal system is second to none.”
According to a recent Australian government report, Australian red meat is in demand in the Middle East and other major international markets.
The average customer’s perception of imported meat is that sourcing meat from so far away can affect the freshness and quality of the product. However, according to Meara, that is just not the case.
“State-of-the art technologies in Australia ensure that Australian lamb and beef is packed fresh and chilled to very low temperatures so it can be delivered to supermarkets in the Middle East in just a matter of days, and is still as fresh as the day it was packed,” he said.
The fresh meat is vacuum-packed to maintain freshness and quality, prevent bacterial growth and ensure an extended shelf life.