KUALA LUMPUR: Indian buffalo meat exporter Allanasons Pvt Ltd (Allana), which is on the lookout for more Malaysian companies to serve as distributors, is working towards diversifying its product offering of halal frozen meat to the market here by next year. The group has been distributing boneless buffalo meat to Malaysia since 1982. It currently exports some 49,000-50,000 tonnes of the meat to the Malaysian market each year. Afzal Aziz, Allana’s president of international business development of processed foods division said the group is awaiting the approval of local authorities to sanction its application to begin the exports of frozen lamb and beef from its abattoir-cum-processing plant in Ethiopia. The group is planning to begin with a monthly supply of 500 tonnes of frozen lamb and beef meat to Malaysia, once it has been given the nod by the Malaysian authorities. This could amount to some 6,000 tonnes a year. “(As for the) Malaysian market, the growth has been slow. We have been at this figure for the last two to three years. We haven’t seen a substantial rise in imports. “We see Malaysia (has been) importing a lot of lamb from Australia and New Zealand. I hope that more companies come forward... that can only help us increase our share in Malaysia. With more players, we will have more share,” he added. Afzal, who was speaking to reporters at a media briefing held in commemoration of Allana’s 35 years of uninterrupted supply to Malaysia, said the group is open to both bumiputra and non-bumiputra players to serve as its distributors. Malaysia accounts for 10% of Allana’s US$2.2 billion (RM9.2 billion) worth of exports, while India supplies about 80,000 tonnes of frozen buffalo meat to Malaysia each year. Allana currently supplies boneless buffalo meat to some 15 Malaysian companies, including Ramly Food Processing Sdn Bhd, Kopeda (M) Sdn Bhd and ZS Armin Sdn Bhd. Over in India, a recent ban on trade of cattle for slaughter came into effect. Commenting on this, Afzal said the group has not been affected as it only exports buffalo meat out of India, which is also one of the country’s major exports. Allana is also in a 50:50 joint venture with Felda Global Ventures Holding Bhd in palm kernel-based products processing and marketing company IFFCO Sdn Bhd. Established in 1865, Allana is one of India’s leading halal buffalo meat exporters. Besides frozen meat, Allana is also involved in the production of coffee, spices and dairy products, among others. Allana exports its products to more than 60 countries.