The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has banned the import of frozen meat from Pakistan through sea route after allegedly finding fungus in a consignment of meat.
The meat consignment had been sent by a Karachi-based company by sea and the whole shipment was destroyed by the UAE authorities, while a ban was imposed on all further imports of frozen meat from Pakistan through maritime channels at least up till Oct 10.
However, meat exports by air will continue without any break. Pakistan exports meat worth around $144 million per year to the UAE.
Naseeb Ahmad Saifi, a meat exporter, explains that it is not a ban rather the UAE authorities have put an embargo until Pakistani frozen meat exporters start following the protocol prescribed by the destination country for future shipments.
Under the protocol, the exporters are required to vacuum-pack their products before shipping them in a refrigerated container by sea, he says. The company in whose consignment fungus was allegedly detected had shipped the meat by wrapping it in cloth, he said, regretting that negligence while sending the export consignment has brought a bad name to the country. He confirmed that the ‘embargo’ on meat exports is only on the sea route, while the exports by air will continue without any interruption.
The country produces around 4.9 million tonnes of meat and of it exports only 95,991 tonnes or around 2pc of the total production. Gulf Cooperation Council states and some Far East countries are its major markets, while meat exports to China, Egypt and Indonesia have also started a few months ago.