Shelf life extension adds $100 million for Australia's red meat industry
Australia’s red meat industry is anticipated to receive in excess of $100 million in additional returns as a result of shelf life restrictions being eased for chilled meat products exported to a range of markets in the Middle East, says Nick Meara, MLA Regional Manager for the Middle East & North Africa. Through concerted efforts between MLA and the Australian Government to collect and disseminate scientific data and advocacy on behalf of the industry, shelf life restrictions are being eased for chilled, vacuum-packed beef and sheepmeat.
Kuwait has recently approved shelf life extension from 70 days to 120 days for beef and 90 days for sheepmeat; Jordan: has approved a temporary shelf life extension on beef from 90 to 120 days and continues to work on a permanent amendment; Qatar is in the final stage of amending beef shelf life to 120 days (with both beef and sheepmeat currently granted 90 days); Saudi Arabia has disseminated a draft regulation to take red meat shelf life from a mandatory 70 days to being non-prescribed, meaning commercial entities can determine the expiry; and Egypt is working on a similar set of measures, announced Mr Meara.
In his opinion, these amendments have the potential to significantly increase the chilled meat offering at retail to consumers in the Middle East region as well as aiding in food security and decreasing food waste. UAE was the first country in the Gulf area to extend shelf life for beef in 2017 from 70 to 120 days and that added $13 million per annum to the revenues reported by industry.