Pakistan launches its biggest halal plant

By Shahid Husain, in Karachi

- Last updated on GMT

The zebu cow is the breed that will supply the majority of Fauji Group's beef
The zebu cow is the breed that will supply the majority of Fauji Group's beef

Related tags: Saudi arabia, United arab emirates

Pakistan’s largest conglomerate, the Fauji Group, has launched the country’s biggest halal abattoir, meat processing and exporting unit near Port Qasim, Karachi.

The Fauji Meat Ltd (FML) subsidiary-run facility, which has been fully operational since April (2016), has a daily production capacity of 100 tonnes (t) of meat (85t of beef and 15t of mutton, according to a company note) in both frozen and chilled categories per day for worldwide export, and cost an estimated US$75 million to build.

Rehan Munawar, the plant’s chief co-ordinating officer said the firm was exporting all its processed meat at present. “This is just the beginning… the plant is exporting seven to 10 tonnes-a-day to Kuwait [at present],​” he said.

The company is in the process of securing approval for exporting processed meat to bigger nearby economies, including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Malaysia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Full speed by 2017

These are the countries where demand for Pakistani meat is high. Officials of some of these countries are scheduled to visit Pakistan in the near future​,” Munawar said, adding that the “plant would be running at full capacity by mid-2017​”. He added that Pakistan meat exports have been averaging between 2.5% and 3% per year.

According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the country’s meat and meat preparations growth surged 13.21% to US$229.09m in July 2015 to April 2016, up from US$202.35m in the same period last year.

In terms of volume, Pakistan meat and meat preparation exports grew 4.23% in volume to 65,256t in the aforementioned first 10 months of the current fiscal year (June 2015 to April 2016), up from 62,605t in the same period last year, according to bureau figures.

High-quality aspirations

Looking at existing inputs at the plant, Munawar said suppliers had been delivering a humped breed of cattle, the zebu, from the southern Punjab. “The breed is from ​[the cities of] Rahim Yar Khan, Multan, Bahawalpur and Lahore,” ​he explained. “The organic and natural breed carries low ​[levels of] fat.​”

He said the operator had engaged some 100 farmers to make the breed available on a consistent basis: “The firm would provide fodder and everything for growth of the breed. This programme was launched earlier this year; and under this, we are targeting to build an association with 300 to 400 farmers.​”

FML was incorporated in 2013 as a public limited company. It is a subsidiary of Fauji Fertilizer Bin Qasim Ltd (FFBL) and both are part of Fauji Group, which also has interests in fertiliser, cement, food, power generation, oil and gas, LPG marketing and distribution, employment and security services.

The new halal abattoir and meat processing facility is spread over 47 acres of land, which includes the plant and a three-day animal holding area.

The plant is designed to meet the objectives of processing high-quality meat (cattle, buffalo, sheep and goat), value-added products, and by-products,​” said a company note. It is also Pakistan’s only halal abattoir that offers meat products in vacuum packaging.

FML will be the only meat processing company in the country which offers rendered products including bone/meat meal, blood meal and tallow conforming to the international quality standards,​” the note continued.

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