BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA – Approximately 1,000 attendees packed an auditorium on the first day of the 18th World Meat Congress in Buenos Aires. Fifteen diverse speakers made presentations from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on industry trends in many countries. Rashid Kadimi, CEO of the processed foods division of the Allana family food group in Mumbai, India, covered the surprisingly large scale of bovine buffalo meat production in India. World production of buffalo meat reached 65.9 million tons in 2009, with both India and China being major exporters, Kadimi said.

Indian export trade, all of it being with Halal slaughter for Islamic consumers, totaled 650,000 metric tons in 2009. This amounts to a four-fold growth in 10 years, with shipments covering countries stretching from Iran across to south-east Asia (Malaysia) and Indonesia. Almost all of this Indian bovine beef comes from buffalo animals in dairy herds. The Allana company operates seven slaughter plants, each with two lines, working six days a week excluding Friday.

While speaking on behalf of the All India Livestock & Meat Exporters Association, Kadimi said buffalo-meat export began for his company in 1969 and growth is expected to continue in the future. This trade, which hasn’t been very visible in world meat-trade statistics, is separate from the bulk of India's 250 million-plus head of other cattle that are considered sacred to the majority human population of Hindu faith and are not slaughtered for meat.

In other news, Surendranath Suman, PhD., leader of a meat-science research team at the University of Kentucky at Lexington, received the International Meat Secretariat's OPIC Award for Outstanding Science and Technology for work he did in beef tenderization using ginger enhancement – as judged by the International Conference of Meat Science and Technology, which was held in Denmark earlier this year.