Exports of Kobe beef to Saudi Arabia will begin next month for the first time. Premium meat is becoming increasingly popular overseas, and Japanese industry officials are hoping to boost demand in the Middle East.
Kobe beef is the brand name for Wagyu from the Tajima breed of cattle raised in Hyogo Prefecture in western Japan. It must meet strict quality standards, such as having a well-marbled texture.
Representatives of an Islamic organization in Japan attended a ceremony in Kobe City on Friday to mark the start of exports.
All food in Saudi Arabia must be halal, meaning produced by Islamic law. Kobe beef destined for Saudi Arabia will be processed at a plant that meets these standards.
One Muslim man described the beef as very tender and tasty. Another Muslim man said that Wagyu beef must be halal-certified to be exported to Muslim markets. He added: “It’s a shame that Muslims around the world haven’t had a chance to taste it because it wasn’t halal”.
According to the Kobe Beef Marketing and Distribution Promotion Association, the coronavirus pandemic has reduced demand for beef in Japanese restaurants. Production costs are also rising.
It says it hopes to increase exports to help struggling domestic beef producers.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.