Interview with Abdulaziz Quraishi, Owner and President, Al-Noor Halal Food Products, Edmonton, Alberta.
By: www.eat-halal.com Staff (Sunday, May 25, 2003)
eat-halal.com: As an exporter of Halal beef, how is the current situation affecting your company right now?
Al Noor Halal: Basically, the business has come to a standstill. We export livestock and box-ready beef, and goat and lamb as well, and everything has come to a standstill. It’s not just affecting me personally with the business, (but) as well as my suppliers and farmers who supply me with livestock…..basically it’s devastation.
eat-halal.com: Has production been stopped totally, even for products (destined) for Canada?
ANH: Federally-inspected (beef) plants (in Canada) are not operating at all, because of Mad Cow, and there have been layoffs.
eat-halal.com: Do you think people are avoiding meat all together now?
ANH: Not necessarily meat all together, it’s just that there is a ban for Canadian beef (imports) into the United States, and 95% of our business is done in the United States.
eat-halal.com: Are the majority of your products beef products or chicken?
ANH: Beef and chicken; but I’d say, as far as red-meats are concerned, beef would be about….35-45%, another 30% would be goat and lamb, and the rest is all chicken.
eat-halal.com: The products you already had produced, they would be just sitting in storage right now?
ANH: Yes. We’re trying to have them utilized in the local market as much as we can, but the local market is a glut, so eventually it’s going to end up in the freezers, and once it’s frozen, it’s not as good of a product.
eat-halal.com: As an industry insider, how long do you expect this to go on for?
ANH: It won’t be a short-term thing, because as they have quarantined another few farms in British Columbia, so they’re getting to the bottom of it…it’s going to take at least two or three weeks before I think this will all be resolved…
eat-halal.com: Your lamb and sheep have also been affected by this import ban. Why is that? I thought only the beef was affected.
ANH: Because they (sheep and lamb livestock) can be carriers of the disease.
eat-halal.com: Can you please give us some background about your company?
ANH: We’re an Edmonton-based company, and we supply the US market with livestock as well as finished products as far as beef, goat, and lamb are concerned, and chickens are strictly hand-slaughtered.
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