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Biz Today International hosts Food & Beverage Summit


By Kamran Hashim

KARACHI: Biz Today International hosted ‘Food & Beverage Summit’ at Marriott Hotel Karachi on Tuesday, 14th March 2023 to bring together the best and brightest executives from the field of food & beverage. Chief Guest for this was Consul General of Indonesia in Karachi, His Excellency Dr. June Kuncoro Hadiningrat.

Event formally began with the recitation of holy verses from the holy quran by Muhammad Ammar, after which Shazleen Iqbal being the moderator/host of the evening, invited Nabeen Siddiqui and Mehreen Mushtaq Qazi was invited for welcome speech. She also gave an introductory note on activities of Biz Today International.

Mr. Mairaj Qureshi, Director of Macca Foods was invited as keynote speaker and he spoke exclusively on Halal meat and he said; “most of the countries in middle-east and countries in ASEAN region import Halal meat from countries like Australian and South Africa. These countries have no idea what halal meat really is. They initially give stunning shock to the live-stock and when if goes into the state of shock they slaughter it. This according to my belief is not halal. Even their halal giving bodies are not accredited by any Islamic country nor from any authentic Islamic body”.

Mr. Mairaj Qureshi

He added by saying; “even the meat that is supplied is not organic and has no texture to it; we know what real Halal meat is. Till know most of the Middle East and ASEAN region is untapped for Halal meat sector. We can do wonder with Halal meat’s export”.

Authorities in Pakistan should ban export of live-stock from Pakistan. We already have witnessed what happened when we were exported cotton to regional countries and now when you go malls in Europe or USA, you get to see more Made in Bangladesh products but hardly any Made in Pakistan goods. Same must not happen with halal meat. Our halal meat is as good as you may find anywhere in the world.  We just need a chance from friendly countries and support from local authorities”.

After key-note speech by Mr. Mairaj Qureshi, expert-sessions began with a seasoned beverage export Kamal Mustafa.  Kamal Mustafa is among the top tea-blenders of the world. He has been blending for two top tea producing companies i.e. Brooke Bond & Lipton (Unilever). His basic skill is tea-tasting and second skill is tea-blending.

Kamal Mustafa, a seasoned campaigner in the world of tea-blending & tea-tasting world said; “tea-tasting is my first and foremost specially, a genuine tea-lover never compromises on the variation of their tea-taste. If we adopt conventional method of tea-tasting which is done over in laboratories, it takes around three day for the final report and the un-conventional method is of tasting the tea manually, which takes less than twenty seconds”.

Sharing his experience about blending, he said; “I was blending 60 million kilograms/year of tea, which is the largest quantity anybody single handed managed. I have also been managing two factories and 15 blends with common pool of supply chain. Brands include Supreme, Yellow Label and Pearl Dust”, on tea-blending he added; “tea-blending is my second specialty and I have traveled over 20 countries across three continents for tea-blending”.

Second expert of the evening was Tabinda Qureshi, who sees a large gap between organic meat products and processed/frozen meat products. One of the reasons she mentioned was shortage of brands offering organic fresh meat as only 5 or maybe 6 brands are present. She said; “in developed countries fresh meat is not easily available and is more expensive, whereas frozen/processed meat is easily available and is also much cheaper. In Pakistan it’s not this way around, its opposite to it. This is a big challenge, which needs to be addressed”.

Chef Saima Maqbool

Third expert of the evening was Chef Saima Maqbool, a self-made, married, housewife struggling to achieve more milestones talked about contaminations. She said; “we much created awareness about contamination, we must know more and more about contaminations, then only we will get to know what to choose for ourselves and for our loved ones”.

After series of expert talks, Shazleen Iqbal invited Consul General of Indonesia in Karachi, His Excellency Dr. June Kuncoro Hadiningrat for sharing his views. Indonesian consul general thanked the organizers Biz Today International and especially Rafiq Vayani for inviting him as the chief guest and arranging a summit on food and beverage.

On Pakistani food, Indonesian Consul General said; “:Pakistani food is more acceptable for Indonesian public as compared to other regional foods, which is neither too sweet nor very spicy. He also said; “till now there is no Pakistani Restaurant in Indonesia, this has to be looking into by Pakistani businessmen”.

Dr. June Kuncoro Hadiningrat

Dr. June Kuncoro Hadiningrat said; “I will also look into the query raised by keynote speaker on imported Halal meat in Indonesia”.

On his concluding note; he said; “Indonesia has one the best tourism places in the world, we are open for tourism, do come to visit Indonesia and experience first-hand our culture, our food, our hospitality, beaches, rain-forests, and mountains etc. etc. I can assure you that you will create excellent memories in Indonesia”

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