LAHORE: A faulty refrigeration system of the shipping line has been blamed for the fungus detected in the fresh chilled meat shipment of a Pakistani company to the United Arab Emirates that prompted the Gulf state to ban imports, at least for the time being, and bringing a bad name to Pakistan.
The ban follows the arrival of several containers of substandard fresh beef in Dubai, as reported by the Dubai Municipal Authorities. Some local companies, however, claim that their organic chilled meat exports have escaped the restrictions.
“Initial investigations have revealed that the substandard quality of meat was allegedly due to inefficient/non-functioning refrigeration system installed in the reefer containers, which is a responsibility of the shipping lines,” says the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), claiming it is actively addressing the recent ban imposed by the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment on the export of fresh chilled meat by sea from Pakistan effective Oct 10.
A press release issued by TDAP says that the exporters concerned have filed a damages petition against the shipping line, while the Pakistani Consulate in Dubai has engaged with stakeholders to ascertain the reason for this unfortunate event.
Exporters file a damages petition against shipping line
A request for a formal meeting with the UAE ministry has also been made to present Pakistan’s viewpoint, assuaging UAE concerns and advocating for vacation of the ban, it adds.
The Organic Meat Company Ltd (TOMCL), a Pakistani meat processor, has said that it will continue to export frozen and vacuum-packed chilled meat products to its market in the UAE via sea route.
The company, which exports meat products to the GCC market, shared the development in its filing to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Thursday.
Referring to the UAE ban, it said there are no restrictions on frozen or vacuum-packed fresh chilled meat shipments via sea and the restriction is only on fresh chilled meat exports and shipments via sea.
Published in Dawn, September 22th, 2023