Qatar and Australia have a huge potential to further expand their collaboration in the food industry due to enhanced connectivity between Doha and major Australian cities, LuLu Group International director Dr Mohamed Althaf has said.
“There are historical ties between Australia and the Middle East, especially now the airline connectivity to various airports has improved tremendously. We have direct flights from Qatar to almost all the major cities in Australia now, and all the ports are connected also,” he explained on the sidelines of the Australia Week 2022, which concludes Wednesday.
The event, organised in co-operation with Austrade – the commercial division of the Australian embassy – aims to promote Australian products in the Qatari market. LuLu Group has been conducting the Australian festival since 2018.
“We are importing a lot of things there directly now, there is still scope for adding and setting up a centre in Australia so that we can procure food directly from the farmers, from the producers and Qatar always has a deep cooperation with Australia,” Dr Althaf said.
He noted that Qatar has invested in several agricultural companies in Australia, which has a very vibrant academic agriculture and food industry partnership.
According to Dr Althaf, the demand for Australian food products in Qatar and in the region due to the high-quality and standards it maintains.
“Right from the beginning, Australia was the first country outside the region to have mastered the halal concept. So they have a trustworthy halal certification programme.
“It is a very industrial scale they do, anything they do in Australia is done because they produce far more than their domestic requirements so it is a very export-dependent market and export-driven market,” he stressed.
LuLu Group, Dr Althaf said, is introducing new Australian products – from fresh produce such as carrots, mangoes, and an array of vegetables to fresh meat (lamb and beef) – in the country every year.
Australian ambassador to Qatar Jonathan Muir echoed Dr Althaf’s statement saying that a wide range of Australian products can be found on the menus of Michelin-star restaurants, and in the premium cabins of global airlines – including Qatar Airways.
“As citizens and residents of Qatar know better than most – Australia has a reputation for producing some of the best meat in the world,” the envoy said, adding that many Australian companies now specialise in organic products and foods.
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