"Full qurbani service" - were you familiar with this term prior to the Covid-19 pandemic?
The concept of having processed sacrificial animal meat delivered to our doorsteps remained alien to us until the pandemic hit Bangladesh. The virus pushed businesses to adapt to the new normal and qurbani cattle markets were no exception.
Keeping health concerns in check, many city-dwellers are now inclined to purchase sacrificial animals online for Eid-Ul-Adha.
Catering to this rising demand, cattle, dairy and fattening farms have begun operating in the virtual marketplace. On top of that, farms are also offering slaughtering services, delivering processed meat in safe and hygienic packaging.
Cattle farms have geared up to provide better and efficient services. The Business Standard highlights three noteworthy farms you can opt to for purchasing sacrificial animals this Eid-ul-Adha.
Pioneering in all-things-meat in Bangladesh, Bengal Meat has been offering full qurbani services for the past seven years.
For this Eid, the meat giant is offering over 1,000 cattle within a price range of Tk70,000 to Tk400,000.
According to Md Hares, the head of Bengal Meat's qurbani project, the farm is hoping to process and deliver around 300 cattles a day.
"Last year, the scenario was different. People had just begun adapting to changes that followed the Covid-19 pandemic. However, this year, we are expecting a better response from the market," said Hares during an interview with The Business Standard.
Unlike last year, Bengal Meat is not providing live cattle delivery services. The meat processor is only offering full qurbani and shared sacrifice services. Its ISO (International Organization for Standardization) standard abattoir, certified halal by the Islamic Foundation, can process fine-cut contamination-free meat that will be delivered to customers' doorsteps starting from the second day of Eid-Ul-Adha.
"Since we follow international standards, we have to bring the carcass down to zero to four degree celsius in order to make it bacteria free. It takes another six to eight hours to bring the meat's temperature back to normal which is why we start delivering from the second day of Eid," explained Hares.
Though Bengal Meat does not deliver processed meat on the first day of Eid, it provides full qurbani services up to two weeks from the second day.
Starting from slaughtering the cattle, processing the meat, packaging and delivery, Bengal Meat's full qurbani services are offered at a price of Tk22,000 for a cattle that costs less than Tk1 lakh.
This price goes down to Tk16,000 for the same cattle if processed on the fourth day of Eid instead of the first.
Likewise, for cattle within the price range of Tk100,000 to Tk130,000, the full qurbani service rates can be as high as Tk23,000 on the Eid day and descend to Tk17,000 on the fourth.
Any cattle priced above Tk130,000 would cost Tk19,000 to be processed and delivered on the fourth day of Eid whereas on Eid day, clients would have to pay Tk25,000.
The country's largest cattle farm Sadeeq Agro has brought in 2,500 cattles this Eid. According to Md Imran Hossain, the farm's owner, Sadeeq Agro is offering cattles within a price range of Tk50,000 to Tk4,000,000 - catering to all sorts of demands.
"We are expecting a better response compared to last year. Customers have already begun booking cows," said Imran.
This year, Sadeeq Agro is operating both an online and physical cattle market while ensuring Covid safety standards and offering full qurbani services as well.
The cost of slaughtering and meat processing services is equal to 15 percent of the price of the cattle.
However, for any cattle priced above Tk1 lakh, as the price increases, the percentage charged for full qurbani services decreases gradually. Besides, the farm is offering free delivery services for Eid-Ul-Adha.
"Keeping the current situation in mind, we are taking special measures to ensure our customers get the best service. The abattoir will be thoroughly disinfected before we begin slaughtering the sacrificial cattle, everyone processing the meat will be following safety protocols," Imran said while talking about safety precautions being implemented at Sadeeq Agro.
Last year, the farm managed to slaughter 526 bulls and 650 goats. However, this year, it plans on processing 1,000 bulls alone.
Unlike Bengal Meat, Sadeeq Agro will begin delivering the processed meat on Eid day and providing its service till the third day of Eid.
Alongside the above-mentioned big players, Farmside Agro has managed to establish a firm reputation with its quality services. The farm is already seeing a higher demand for its cattle and services compared to last year.
One of the owners, Faisal Bin Maleque, said, "We ensured timely deliveries last year and, in some cases, delivered ahead of our scheduled time, which is why we are getting a much better response this year with a high number of referrals."
Like last year, Farmside Agro is offering live cattle delivery and full qurbani services this Eid. According to Faisal, his farm is offering more efficient services this year around given the time they got to adapt to the new normal, unlike last year.
In contrast to Bengal Meat and Sadeeq Agro, Farmside Agro is offering a price of Tk400 per KG for cattles weighing 400 kilos and below.
The rest are being sold at fixed prices. As for the full qurbani services, the price varies within Tk15,000 to Tk20,000 depending on the weight of the cattle.
"We do not generate any profit from the full qurbani service. In some cases, we pay a portion of the service charge from our profits just to ensure better quality service so that our customers are satisfied," said Faisal.
Farmside Agro will deliver processed meat from 12 pm on Eid day and offer the full qurbani service till the second day of Eid. The farm plans to process 50 cattle in two days this year.
In order to ensure health and safety standards, Farmside Agro will be isolating its slaughtering team two days prior to Eid-Ul-Adha at its abattoir. All the processed meat will be packaged and delivered on time while adhering to the highest hygienic standards.