UAE health officials assess meat company for export standards
Posted Thursday, June 28 2012 at 20:58
A team from the United Arab Emirates is in the country to assess the capacity of Kenya Meat Commission to export meat to the Middle East country.
The visit comes two months after the meat firm signed a deal with two Dubai-based companies in which KMC is expected to export 15.5 tonnes of meat products weekly.
The inspectors, mainly veterinary doctors, nutritionists and environmentalists are also interested in how KMC meets international standards on food safety, health and sanitation, livestock disease control and meat handling.
After conducting the visitors, the KMC managing commissioner Ibrahim Haji said the meat processor meets sanitation rules and its products meet international standards.
Last month, Livestock Development minister Mohamed Kuti said Kenya risks losing its key Middle East meat export market due to unscrupulous traders who forge Kenya Meat Commission stamps to export poor quality products.
The firm said it will carry out surveillance to flush out any bogus traders posing as KMC agents who are eroding the market confidence for Kenyan meat.
Dr Haji said they have installed cargo handlers at airports to ensure only KMC-authorised meat products are exported.
KMC turned to the Middle East market to increase revenues and the company targets a 20 per cent profit at the end of this financial year.
In the April deal, Global Foods and Blue Mountain companies will market KMC products in the Middle East for one year with Dubai as the distribution point.
This followed KMC’s strategy of adopting direct marketing to double its export market turnover.
To enhance its capacity in meeting the market demand, KMC is constructing six satellite abattoirs in major livestock keeping areas countrywide, including Wajir, Samburu, Kajiado, Isiolo, Mandera, Garissa, Marsabit and Turkana Counties.
The European Union has already banned the importation of Kenyan beef due to food safety concerns as a result of livestock diseases.
The Ministry of Livestock is banking on the establishment of disease-free zones to regain lost market.