Just about every neighbourhood has it; the huddle of people, especially in the early weekend mornings, making it impossible to miss, not to mention the acrid smell accompanied by the never disappearing blood stains- yes, it's the neighbourhood butcher shop we are so very used to. And it hasn't changed much since the times of our great grandfathers. While super shops are changing this in the cities, Bengal Meat is set to fully modernise this scenario one step at a time.
What started out in 2006 with a promise for hygienic and halal meat processing for the international market has grown to be so much more. And the reason behind it lies with a 30-acre spread area located in Kashinathpur, Pabna. This farm stands as a testament to the growth of Bangladesh's meat processing industry and its journey forward. Not only are urban dwellers getting global quality meat and poultry, but they are getting it from an abattoir that adheres to global standards. The state of the art meat processing plant with livestock rearing and slaughtering facilities is not only ISO- 22000:2005 and HACCP certified, it also happens to be the only internationally certified meat processor in Bangladesh by JAKIM. So, what do all these acronyms symbolise? For starters, these establish Bengal Meat as a qualified international meat processor and also firmly ensure that they are supplying the local consumers with the safest possible meat in the country.
THE FARM AT A GLANCE
In the eight years since the farm has been operating, it has always been about ensuring the best possible product.
It all starts with the livestock. The farm houses cattle from Pabna, which is historically renowned for its large supply and quality of breed variety, as well as from nearby cattle zones. No buffaloes or imported cattle are placed here.
The farm is built to nurture the cattle in a clean and fresh environment. The facility also includes a fodder cultivation field where maize, lucerne, jamboo, napier etc. are grown to ensure the right fodder for the livestock. This enriched fodder ensures that the quality of meat is of premium quality.
Every animal is ensured a proper clean and comfortable shelter for daily maintenance. The shelter is cleaned on a daily basis to keep the environment free from germs.
At the adjacent meat processing facility, halal compliance and methods are supervised by Bangladesh Islamic Foundation certified personnel, including 9 key halal quality control points.
ENSURING QUALITY THROUGH AND THROUGH
At the farm, every cattle, goat and sheep that arrive are placed in quarantine initially to test and observe for diseases and other problems. All animals are ear tagged for traceability from feedlot to distribution centre. The animal shelter is spacious where the cattle can roam freely and eat and drink according to their needs. Even the farm's sheds have sprinklers for the hot days.
Since cattle and goat consume about 10 percent of their body weight in green fodder per day, the farm grows a wide variety of fodder crops using modern farming methods and uses the cattle dung as a natural fertiliser. In short, the farm is efficient and ecologically balanced in production.
As for the processing plant, the strictest quality control is maintained. From slaughtering to final distribution, the plant maintains an uninterrupted cool chain. As soon as the slaughtering is completed according to halal compliances, the carcass is washed with a pressurised jet stream of water. Even before and during this stage, if the ante mortem study is not up to par or if any other problem is discovered, the meat is rejected.
The processing unit ensures that all production lines are separate including the separation of the cattle line from the goat or sheep lines, as well as the meat and offal processing to prevent any type of contamination.
The farm makes use of its own Effluent Treatment Plant to ensure that the produced waste does not, in any way, affect the surrounding environment.
The entire facility has been designed and constructed under direct guidance of experts from Australia. The employees at the processing facility were initially trained by an expert team from Australia, led by Wayne Gaskell, a veteran meat expert from Australia with a long track record. The farm was built by another Australian farming expert, Jon Schultz, who also trained farm employees. With over a decade of expertise under its belt, the farm is now capable of maintaining a strict code of conduct and ethical practice on its own.
Typical meat consumers can have the notion that since they cannot see the entire process of slaughtering with their own eyes, they cannot fully rely on pre-packaged meat. Then again, for the urban environment, having slaughter houses around every corner is also a key concern. Keeping this in mind, from the very beginning, Bengal Meat's core mission has been to bring the safest and best quality meat to the consumer's table. To ensure that, every single product that leaves the farm in Pabna goes through rigorous processes to uphold their commitment towards complete food safety and quality. Bengal Meat's milestones signifying their strong position in the meat processing industry can simply be traced to their farm as it continues to maintain and produce the best cut of meat possible.
Currently Bengal Meat has more than 30 plus retail points across Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylhet and plans to grow further with their recent addition of Gourmet Butcher shops and Shop-in-shops. With an eye for savoury ready to cook delights and premium cuts of meat, this local meat processor is all set to give the best of global standards for the consumers.
Photo courtesy: Bengal Meat
For more information, including Bengal Meat's products, visit www.benglameat.com
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