Poultry and beef traders met in Dubai on Global Meat Congress




On December 3-5 in Dubai took place the 1st Global Meat Congress, which we can call one of the expected and most outstanding events for the world meat business. For meat industry, it’s traditional to have lots of expos and technical conferences but we decided to make a trade event and focus on presenting of different origins of meat in order to give MENA importers an opportunity to select better options.  The Middle East as well as Southeast Asia and North Africa is a driver of global demand for poultry and beef meat. The main reasons of the trend are population growth and increase of domestic incomes in the regions. And Dubai is a perfect place to gather both importers and exporters of meat as well as technology suppliers.


The organizers of the Congress are APK-Inform, CAITE, a general sponsor of the event - West Food Group (WFG), it is integrated in holding Vriesekoop and owns two chicken processing factories in the Netherlands. Additionally, WFG has its factories in Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine, where the company produces beef and pork offal, such as beef omasum, beef tripe, beef pizzles, pork feet, pork stomachs, etc. During many years the company cooperates with the poultry and meat factories in Europe, the USA, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil and Thailand to purchase frozen meat items as raw material for factories as well as to offer their requested products to customers directly from the producers with whom the company cooperates for many years. WFG has its own licenses on importing meat from Brazil and Thailand in Europe. So, they control quality of meat and they trade further to direct clients in MENA.

One more congress sponsor was SB-System AG (Germany). A company which stands for global software excellence in the meat industry. Since 1977, it has successfully provided worldwide consultancy, implementation and support services for projects of any business size, which makes us the IT pioneer of the industry. As a leading software manufacturer and provider of specialized IT solutions for corporate management and process control, SB-System AG optimizes the processes of its customers and creates significant competitive advantages. Dr. Klemens van Betteray, Vice President of CSB-System AG, joined the list of the Congress speakers, and he made a brilliant presentation about "Digitalization in the Meat Industry – A Roadmap to the Smart Meat Factory".

The key speaker of the Congress was David Jackson from the consulting company LMC (UK). In his presentation the expert told that one of the major shifts in agriculture has been the rise in per capita protein consumption in China, but other countries, notably India, have yet to enter this dietary transition. As countries get richer, the source of protein shifts towards animal (fish and meat) products, the poorer countries rely on vegetal sources of protein. Regarding meat industry, David told that global pork production is up 66% since 1990, primarily driven by an increase in China. Poultry production has increased threefold since 1990 - US and EU dominance in the global poultry market is declining and India is also increasing rapidly. But he also stressed that Global beef and veal production has increased at a slower rate than the other meats, but China has increased its beef and veal production share.

Making forecasts, Mr. Jackson told that with rapid population and income growth, demand for meat and protein feed will grow most rapidly in MENA and SE Asia. These have no major domestic protein source, so they will emerge as major protein deficit regions, creating challenges and opportunities.

One of the congress speakers was also Dr. David Beatty, an International Business Manager MENA, Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA). In his presentation David told about current state of meat industry in Australia. Currently the country has : Cattle herd -approx. 27 million approaching lowest in 20 years (June 2015), sheep flock - approx. 39 million breeding ewes and 22 million lambs (June 2015). According to MLA, outlook modest over next couple of years for beef herd, predicted to increase slightly in 2017 off an estimated 26 million figure in 2016, outlook steady over the next couple of years for sheep flock with likely steady numbers. Dr. Beatty highlighted that Australia exports around 70% of its red meat production to 110 different countries, major markets for beef are the USA, Japan and ROK, major markets for lamb are the USA, China and the UAE.

Regarding beef, Australia is a small beef producer on world scale (the USA and Brazil bigger), Australia has 4% of world’s beef cattle population, dwarfed by India, Brazil, China and the US, Australia exported 1.17 million tonnes of beef & veal in 2016 fiscal year.

As for lamb - Australia produces approx. 8% of the world’s lamb and mutton (2013), with China being by far the largest producer, the country exported about 242,000 tonnes lamb in 2016 fiscal year, also Australia exported about 147,000 tonnes mutton in 2016 fiscal year. In the conclusion of his presentation David noted that Australian meat industry world leader in producing and exporting red meat (beef, sheep and goat meat) and Australia is a global exporter of Halal red meat as the Australian government, authorized Islamic organizations and red meat export industry are working together to get the best results.

In her speech Tatyana Golofievskaya, Marketing director of West Food Group (WFG) told to congress participants about the opportunities for the European meat processing factories and slaughterhouses to export to Gulf region. She explained that while poultry is the main meat product imported by Gulf region countries from foreign suppliers, foreign halal beef has been growing steadily since 2009 reaching nearly $1.3 billion in 2013. The top five non-regional suppliers of beef are India, Australia, Pakistan, the US and Brazil and India primarily supplies boneless fresh beef cuts to the GCC. Tatyana mentioned that most of the foreign beef imported into the GCC is frozen boneless cuts representing 60% of all beef products entering the region, just over 21% of beef products were fresh boneless cuts and 5% were processed beef products (here is very little beef offal entering the market and almost no bone-in frozen or fresh cuts). Mrs. Golofienvskaya highlighted the main factors that lead to food consumption growth in Gulf Region: population growth, increasing income per capita and the booming tourism industry.

It’s worth to mention that WFG sells poultry to the MENA region for more than 7 years.
They ship mainly from Brazil - the world's top chicken meat exporter (Brazil alone accounts for 41 % of the global trade in chicken meat) but they also have an experience selling European meat to Arabian customers. And having this profound experience of WFG, Tatyana told about main manufacturers of processed meat products in MENA and their approach.

The big part of the Congress program was about South America meat production and trade.

One of the most interesting presentations was about Brazilian meat and poultry industry, presented by Kateryna Iarosh, Sales Manager, specialized on Brazilian poultry. In her presentation Mrs. Iarosh told about Brazil advantages as a poultry producer - few countries in the world are able to match Brazil’s natural ability to achieve international recognition as one of the “Barns of the World.” With its vast fields of grains, fertile land and an extremely favorable climate, Brazil is a partner of various countries worldwide in providing food security. Today, over 150 markets import chicken meat that is made in Brazil. Nearly 4 million tons are shipped out of the country’s ports every year, nearly one-third of all chicken meat produced in Brazil. On Brazilian farms, technological excellence in genetics, management and environment have guaranteed enormous progress in production, making the country the third largest producer worldwide of chicken meat, with over 12 million tons of chicken meat annually. Expert also mentioned that behind this production chain are dozens of industries, spread across various states in Brazil, in regions that are notable for their colonization by European and Asian countries, all of the links in the chain highlight the greatness of Brazilian poultry farming, recognized for its quality, health and efficiency, guaranteeing that Brazil’s poultry farming products are on the tables of consumers on the five continents.

The presentation about Argentina, prepared by Federico Santangelo, AgroIdeas, Argentina was mainly about the opportunities of Argentinian meat products for Gulf area. It got big audience feedback and discussions about how policy of the previous government hurt Argentinian meat export and how the new government and industry are trying to return lost positions on the main meat importing markets.

Also during the event were presented several presentations regarding meat importing countries like Iran and Oman. Iranian delegation on the Congress included organizers of the biggest regional specialized expo – MeatEx (Tehran, November). They have invited all participants of congress to visit expo in 2017 and also proposed Global Meat Congress organizers to make a similar event during MeatEx next year.

During the second and the third days of the Global Meat Congress the participants had experienced the Arabian food at the networking lunch and also they visited the SIAL expo in Abu Dhabi.

In behalf of the organizers we thank all speakers and participants of the event, see you at our next congresses in 2017!