Consumption of red meat in Malaysia is growing

by NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

MALAYSIANS have increased their consumption of meat with lamb meat ranked as the highest, followed by poultry, beef and veal, pork and fish at the lowest.

Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) South-East Asia regional manager Valeska said Malaysia imports the bulk of its red meat, some 80% beef and 95% of lamb meat.

“Global consumer trends also show that Malaysians are also cooking more at home due to Covid-19, as well as becoming more price-conscious,” she said during the webinar “Your Trusted Halal Australian Beef and Lamb, from Farm to Plate” on Wednesday.

She said the trends show halal meat from Australia are high in demand Malaysians as it fulfils all the halal criteria.

As a long-time supplier of halal beef and lamb to over 100 countries including Malaysia, the MLA revealed that animals raised and processed in a stress-free environment produce better quality meat that are consistent, hygienic, safe and nutritious, which are attributes for consumption that can better suit Malaysian consumer needs.

The group noted that its red meats are versatile and suitable for Asian and western cuisine, turning out delicious and nutritious dishes each time.

“With such quality, fresh and tender meat, it takes less time to cook, whether it’s a beef rendang or a spicy lamb stew,” it said.

Valeska added that as more Malaysians are working at home now, they have time to cook at home and time to prepare meals to ensure they are eating healthier meals.

“Cooking itself has helped Malaysian consumers cope during this difficult time, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they are willing to spend more time cooking.

“Almost one in two consumers say they look for quick, convenient meal options, while five out of ten indicate they are looking for do-it-yourself meal kits that are quick but fun, and about four in ten consumers say they won’t cook meals that require more time to prepare,” she said.

The Australian High Commission agriculture counsellor Sanjay Boothalingam said all cattle, sheep and goats processed in Australia for the Malaysia market are slaughtered under the Australian Government Supervised Halal Programme by accredited Muslims.

“This programme is administered by the Federal Department of Agriculture in Australia.

“Additionally, all processing facilities in Australia employ only registered and trained Muslim slaughtermen from the Halal Certifying Bodies and also comply with personal hygiene, operational sanitation and animal welfare requirements,” he said.

He added that when consumers purchase MLA meat, it would mean each produce has undergone required evaluation.

“These Halal Certifying Bodies are recognised and approved by the Department of Islamic Development of Malaysia (Jakim).

“The halal systems and production facilities are regularly audited by internal quality and food safety assurance systems, such as the Australian and importing country representatives from Department of Veterinary Services of Malaysia and Jakim,” he said.

Malaysia is described as having a growing demand for halal meat and products.

MLA noted that Malaysia stands to benefit from both local demand and strong export opportunities by leveraging increasing purchasing power among consumers in other Muslim markets.

“These include the Middle East and neighbouring Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim country with a population of more than 200 million.

“There are increasing opportunities in Malaysia’s halal economy and as a member of the Organisation of Islamic Conference, Malaysia’s halal certification is globally recognised by all Muslim nations, making it a perfect launch market for exporters,” it said.