Spanish meat industry chiefs host Saudi trade mission

1 / 15
The five-day media/trade mission consisted of multiple visits to fattening farms, feed mills, slaughterhouses, and meat markets in and around the Spanish capital of Madrid. Photo Courtesy of Gema Moguer
2 / 15
A non-profit organization officially recognized by the Spanish Government, PROVACUNO represents 85% of the Spanish beef industry. (AN photo by Abdulaziz Alaquil)
3 / 15
PROVACUNO have over 110,000 farms, with an annual meat production exceeding 650,000 metric tons. (AN photo by Abdulaziz Alaquil)
4 / 15
PROVACUNO’s cattle and variety of cuts are all dependent on the variety of breeds, and age of slaughter, to which they are categorized threefold: Heifer Calves, Yearlings, and Adult Bovine. (AN photo by Abdulaziz Alaquil)
5 / 15
PROVACUNO's annual industry exports amount to 175,000 metric tons annually. (AN photo by Abdulaziz Alaquil)
6 / 15
The animal feed that PROVACUNO incorporates is strictly grain-fed and based mainly on a high-grade nutritional value cereal and oil-seed. (AN photo by Abdulaziz Alaquil)
7 / 15
the Saudi delegation were provided with tours of fattening farms and feed mills in the Spanish cities of Lleida and Huesca. (AN photo by Abdulaziz Alaquil)
8 / 15
With the goal of enhancing their beef industry’s image through sustainable and environmentally-friendly production processes, PROVACUNO maintains a firm compliance with the European Production Model. (AN photo by Abdulaziz Alaquil)
9 / 15
The feed mill of AGROPIENSO folows a strict traceability system based on the specific characteristics of each animal that enables an uninterrupted transfer of data from the farm to the point of sale. (AN photo by Abdulaziz Alaquil)
10 / 15
PROVACUNO maintains a firm compliance with the European Production Model. The grains are technologically controlled through a daily traceability system of which measurements are taken to ensure the nutrients are always consistently balanced and free from infection. (AN photo by Abdulaziz Alaquil)
11 / 15
The Saudi delegation visited the meat factories of ALMAMEAT. With two main headquarters, they encompass the whole value chain: livestock production, slaughterhouse, cutting plant, and marketing. (Photo Courtesy of Saleh Al-Qabbas)
12 / 15
A visit to Mercamadrid’s meat market gave the Saudi delegation a glimpse into the final commercialized phase of beef production – buying, selling, and trade. (Photo Courtesy of Gema Moguer)
13 / 15
Mercamadrid is the largest perishable foods market in Europe with a total area of over 220 hectares. An estimated 20,000 food merchants from over 50 countries visit daily buying and selling produce to be shipped across five continents. (AN photo by Abdulaziz Alaquil)
14 / 15
Meat imports from the Saudi market are currently dominated by four countries, that in total, amount to 90% of total beef imports: Brazil (39%), India (26%), Australia (14%), and Pakistan (9%). (AN photo by Abdulaziz Alaquil)
15 / 15
PROVACUNO have embarked on a three-year promotional tour showcasing their high-quality, environmentally friendly, and wide-ranging beef products in countries such as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, and Hong Kong. (Photo Courtesy of Gema Moguer)
Updated 12 February 2019
0

Spanish meat industry chiefs host Saudi trade mission

  • With the Kingdom being one of the highest meat-consuming nations in the world, Provacuno sees it as a key target market.

A top-level business delegation from Saudi Arabia took part in a five-day trade mission to Spain focusing on the meat industry. 
The trip, hosted by the Spanish meat production sector’s Interprofessional Organization of Beef Cattle (Provacuno), followed a reciprocal visit to the Kingdom last year.
Representatives of the Saudi media and meat trade toured farms, feed mills, slaughterhouses, and meat markets in and around the Spanish capital Madrid, to see the latest high-quality, environmentally-friendly beef production methods. 
A non-profit organization officially recognized by the Spanish government, Provacuno represents 85 percent of the Spanish beef industry. Established in 1997, it is comprised of national associations working to protect the interests of companies involved in Spain’s meat production, industrial, and commercial sectors.
Saudi Arabia only reopened its market to Spanish beef three years ago after stopping imports in 2001 as a result of the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or mad cow disease) outbreak.
With the Kingdom being one of the highest meat-consuming nations in the world, Provacuno sees it as a key target market. In 2017 Spanish beef exports to Saudi Arabia were valued at €680,000 ($768,000). In the same year, the Kingdom produced 60,000 tons of meat while consuming over 220,000 tons. Brazil, India, Australia and Pakistan currently dominate the beef imports market to Saudi.
However, Provacuno hopes to step up its trade links with the Kingdom and has embarked on a three-year promotional tour showcasing Spain’s beef industry in not only Saudi Arabia, but other countries including the UAE, Vietnam, and Hong Kong. 
During a presentation to the Saudi delegation at Provacuno’s headquarters in Madrid, its market research and training manager, Alvaro Espejo León, explained to Arab News the organization’s market strategy for the Kingdom.
“While Brazil and India control most of the Saudi beef market, we do not share the same market strategy as them,” León said. “They are focused on a different target market. They don’t represent our segment or our target client. Our strategy is not aimed towards restaurants, but rather five-star hotels and supermarkets like Danube and Manuel.”
Provacuno representatives visited the Kingdom in November last year as part of their promotional campaign “What a Wonderful European Beef,” which concluded at Jeddah’s Foodex. 
On the return leg to Spain, the Saudi trade delegates spent their first day touring fattening farms and feed mills in the cities of Lleida and Huesca. Provacuno’s cuts of meat are categorized based on breed of cattle and age of slaughter. 
At the Agropienso feed manufacturing plant in Huesca, the Saudi party was shown how cattle are fed grain with a high-grade nutritional value cereal and oil-seed.
With the goal of enhancing the Spanish beef industry’s image through sustainable and environmentally-friendly production processes, Provacuno maintains a firm compliance with strict European production requirements on food safety standards. Tough rules surrounding animal welfare, hygiene control, and environmental protection also cater for international markets like Saudi Arabia by offering meat that is 100 percent halal certified. 
The Spanish hosts also introduced their Saudi guests to the Almameat group, which encompasses livestock production, slaughterhouses, and cutting plants all operating with the latest technology. Almameat has over 500 cattle breeders, and a weekly meat production capacity estimated at more than 1,000 tons. Its modern cooling facilities can hold up to 2,500 cow and sheep carcasses daily.  
A visit to the giant Mercamadrid meat market gave the Saudi delegation a glimpse into the final commercialized phase of beef production – buying, selling, and trade.
Mercamadrid is the largest perishable foods market in Europe with a total area of more than 220 hectares. It houses over 900 independent firms and provides food for 12 million consumers living within a 500 km radius. 
With the risk of BSE now officially considered negligible in Spain, Provacuno has been experiencing an upward trend in exports of meat products in recent years.  Provacuno’s annual meat production exceeds 650,000 metric tons. It has more than 110,000 farms, with industry exports amounting to 175,000 metric tons annually. For the past 20 years, the organization has been officially recognized by the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, as an agro-food interprofessional body.
According to UN trade figures, beef consumption in Saudi Arabia has increased steadily in recent years after a consecutive decreasing trend between 2012 and 2016. Currently, the EU is the second-largest annual producer of beef in the world at more than 8 million metric tons. Spain’s main beef exports are to Turkey, Hong Kong, Israel, Lebanon, and Ghana.
 


Saudi Arabian doctors save lives around the world with Albalsam International

Updated 19 min 23 sec ago
0

Saudi Arabian doctors save lives around the world with Albalsam International

  • Specific teams are chosen for each trip based on the needs of the country in question, says team leader Emad Bukhari

RIYADH: Saudi Arabian nonprofit Albalsam International Organization and its team of surgeons have reportedly provided medical assistance to 2,524 patients in six different countries, including Yemen and Tanzania, it announced recently.

Albalsam, which opened in Switzerland in 2017 under the leadership of Saudi cardiologist and executive director Dr. Emad Bukhari, provides free medical services to underprivileged citizens around the world. 

The organization has seven teams specializing in different areas of medicine: Cardiovascular medicine and surgery; ophthalmic medicine and surgery; pediatric medicine and surgery; cardiac catheterization; pediatric urology; intensive care; and respiratory care.

Bukhari cites Qur’an 22:77 — “O you who have believed, bow and prostrate and worship your Lord and do good — that you may succeed” — as the inspiration behind the organization.

“By the grace of God first, and then by the hard work and devotion of my team and the generous assistance of those who donate to us, we are able to do good in service of humanity,” Bukhari told Arab News.

In numbers

560 cases of eye patients.

2,524 recipients.

46 surgery for children.

Specific teams are chosen for each trip based on the needs of the country in question, he explained: “If we are urgently needed to perform surgeries, we’ll send a larger surgical team of about 10 people. If we are sending doctors to offer training or teaching, we might send four.” The necessary resources for each trip are donated by various hospitals.

The doctors do their utmost to ensure that they are able to provide follow-up care for their patients too, and monitor their recovery. 

“We do not go anywhere unless we know we have the full means to offer the proper care,” Bukhari said. 

“We ensure that the local medical teams can carry on the treatment after we leave, training them ourselves if we have to, and we even follow up on the phone or over Skype, if necessary.”

To date, the organization has provided services including open-heart surgery, cardiac catheterization therapeutic intervention surgery, cardiac ultrasound diagnosis, cataract surgery, and various pediatric surgical procedures.

Bukhari said that the organization treats all patients equally, regardless of race, creed or gender.

“Islam teaches us that saving a single life is like saving all of humanity, and that is how Albalsam contributes to the growth and expansion of its work and puts its own mark on humanitarian action.”