From Farm to Board - Mrs. T. Zuleyha Albas, Founder and General manager of Buckaroo Food
The global Halal market is expected to grow fast in the next 5 years and everyone Halal meat producer is taking a chance in capitalizing this trend. The very first signs of market growth are already visible in countries such as Spain, Germany, Greece or United Kingdom and one Turkish producer is already paying attention to these trends although until now it was focused on other markets. "Instead of taking place in the supermarkets with basic products, we plan to proceed on our way with high quality products for specific customers we target," stated Mrs T. Zuleyha Albas, Founder and General manager of Buckaroo Food, in an interview for EuroMeat News.
Her strategy to address the customer in the European markets may prove successful as premiumisation in Halal meat products is facing three major obstacles when it comes to non-Muslim producers.
1. The current red meat output reported by Turkey looks to benefit slaughterhouses and meat processors. However, over the last years, prices in the domestic market haven’t been supportive of the industry. Where does Buckaroo Food sell most of its products: in Turkey or abroad?
1) As Buckaroo, we supply all of the products we process from slaughter houses approved by the Turkish Official Authorities which are also in compliance with Halal Standards. However, it cannot be said that the prices of raw materials we need for our production are competitive with the world prices. For this reason, we adopt quality production in limited tonnage to be competitive with the overseas in the sector.
2. What range of products do you present to the customers? What are the most valuable pieces that you put in the market and how much do you produce per year?
2) As Buckaroo, we produce two types of products. The first one is the production of meat by-products for export and the second one is the production of traditional delicatessen food. While our freshly processed natural semi-cooked beef tripe is in the first place for our overseas customers, our soudjouk produced from 100% beef which we produce and sell in limited quantity in the local market, can be defined as one our most valuable products. Our production for overseas is on average between 100-250 tons per year and our soudjouk production is on average 10-15 tons.
3. What are the main export markets for Buckaroo Food products?
3) As Buckaroo, we can list our main export markets as; Far East, Middle East, Turkish States and Africa. For offal and chicken “dark meat” (like chicken paws), we export mainly to the Middle East, Turkic States, Far East and Africa. As we attended Gulfood2020, the evaluations we made with our suppliers and customers supported our view that the demand for Halal Meat products will increase.
4. Lately, the Halal meat segment in the EU has increased its market share. Do you export Halal products in countries such are Germany, Spain, Sweden, Belgium, Denmark or the UK? How would you describe the trade between Turkey and the EU and what are your expectations over the next 2-3 years?
4) As Buckaroo, we foresee that consumption in the Halal meat segment in the EU will increase in parallel with population growth, migration movements and cultural approaches. We plan to export to the countries you listed (Germany, Spain, Sweden, Belgium, Denmark, and England). However, instead of taking place in the supermarkets with basic products, we plan to proceed on our way with high quality products for specific customers we target. In the medium term, our trade with the EU will continue to increase in the food sector depending on population density and Turkey's geopolitical position. Turkey is the most safe port in the region.
5. The global halal meat market is expected to grow at a fast pace in the next 5-6 years but analysts are foreseeing a tendency for premiumization of the products. Do you find this trend challenging?
5) As Buckaroo, we agree with analysts. However, we have to add the following to this prediction. There are 3 main difficulties in making premium products in the Halal Meat market. The first one is that all processes of the products have to be carried out as Halal. The second one is the difference in the cultural and religious approaches of Halal meat consumers, and the third one is the belief that goods produced in a non-Muslim country will fail to meet the Halal criteria. Due to these reasons, we have accelerated our premium quality goods production and product development studies in the Halal Meat market.
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