(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) A positive year for Australian lamb exports saw a yearly volume of 61,250 metric tonnes, an increase of 12 per cent, also a record annual export to the region. Total combined red meat volumes reached just under 185,000 metric tonnes including mutton and offal items. Driving the overall growth for beef was strong demand from Saudi Arabia, with Australian exports to Saudi reaching 31,126 tonnes, an incredible year-on-year growth of 494 per cent. Premium product is high on the menu across the Middle East with a marked increase in demand for high quality grass fed, grain fed and wagyu beef
Jamie Ferguson, regional manager for the Mena region, Meat and Livestock Australia, said: "With over 45 years in the region Australian meat and livestock companies have built long standing relationships and trust. We have a strong understanding of market drivers and have been in a position to take advantage of changes to the market, when they have occurred, such as the expanding hypermarket and four and five star hotel sectors. Australia is recognised as a global leader in halal red meat production and many of the new players are turning to Australian companies as a clean and safe year round provider of guaranteed halal beef, lamb and goat items."
Arab Master Chef and star of Fatafeat's '100 Lahma' TV show, chef Tarek Ibrahim explained: "As one of the world's greatest food producing nations Australia deserves and enjoys a reputation for excellence so it comes as no surprise that Australia produces some of the world's greatest meat. When talking about meat, for me it has to be Australian. It's the only country in the world where I truly trust the halal and food safety systems.