How to start a meat export business in India?

Updated: 13-Jun-2023
How to start a meat export business in India?

India is one of the largest producers of meat in the world, with a vast potential for meat export. The Indian meat industry offers lucrative opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to venture into the export market. However, starting a meat export business requires careful planning, compliance with regulations, and an understanding of the market dynamics. EximPedia will you to provide proper guidance related to the meat export business. In this blog post, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to start a meat export business in India.

The demand for Meat Business in India

The demand for Indian meat in the international market has sparked a rise with 89% in total animal product exports from India. The most popular foods are fish and chicken. More than 3.9 million metric tonnes of poultry meat were consumed in India in 2020. The meat industry is liable for the processing, packing, and distribution of animals such as poultry, cattle, pigs, sheep, and other livestock. The principal markets for meat from other animals, including buffalo, come from:

  • Malaysia's Socialist Republic of Vietnam
  • Egypt Arab State
  • Iraq
  • Arab States

However, exports of processed meats and buffalo meat rose by 15% annually to 194,500 tonnes according to Meat Export Data. With the continued economic expansion, increased per capita income, accelerating urbanization trends, and growing knowledge of the nutritional benefits of meat and meat products, the demand for meat is anticipated to increase more quickly in India. Along with China, Brazil, the EU, Mexico, and Brazil, India is one of the top exporters of poultry meat at the moment. Therefore, it is crucial to examine the factors that affect the nation's meat output.

Did you know?
Brazil surpassed more renowned exporters like the US and Australia to become the world's top exporter of beef in 2021.

Meat Export Market in India for 2022-23

Since 1996, India’s meat output has raised by 4 percent every year. After a slight volume increase in FY23, a slowdown in demand is projected to keep India's exports of buffalo meat muted in the first half of the current year.
Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (Apeda) data shows that in 2022–2023, exports of buffalo meat were 1,175,532 tonnes, valued at Rs 25 640 crore.

According to Meat Export Import Data for 2022-23, Exports of buffalo meat totaled 1,175,532 tonnes in 2022–2023 and were worth Rs. 25 640 crores. Additionally, in 2022–2023, Malaysia purchased 192,779 tonnes of Indian buffalo meat, followed by Vietnam with 171,949 tonnes. The country through which buffalo meat is shipped to other nations is Vietnam.
The availability of sufficient resources in the Indian trade market means that India has a significant potential for the production and export of meat.

Which meat is mostly exported from India?

India is the biggest exporter of sheep and goat meat in the world as per the APEDA, 2021. Buffalo meat is predominantly exported from India due to the large population of water buffalo in the country. India has a thriving meat processing industry, with a significant portion of its exports comprising buffalo meat products. There are several types of Meats in the Indian market:

  • Pork processing plant
  • Cattle Processing Plant 
  • Goats Processing Plant
  • Chicken Processing Plant

It is worth noting that the export of beef from India is primarily focused on buffalo meat, as the slaughter and sale of cows are restricted or prohibited in several states due to religious and cultural sensitivities surrounding cows in the country. During the years 2021–2022, the nation exported 1175193.02 MT of buffalo meat products to the world for a total of Rs. 24613.24 Crores/3303.34 USD Millions according to Indian Meat Export Data.

Which country exports the most meat?

One of the most popular meats consumed worldwide is beef. Typically, it is referred to as the meat of cattle, or bovine animals, the most popular being cows and buffaloes. After pork and poultry, beef is the third most famous meat in the world, according to data from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO). According to beef export data, beef accounts for 24% of the meat consumed worldwide, while pork accounts for 36%. Let’s discuss the top 5 meat exporting countries globally:

Top 5 Meat Exporting Countries Globally:

According to Export data of Meat, these are the top 5 meat exporting countries globally:

  1. India: India has a large and diverse livestock industry, making it one of the top meat exporters globally. It primarily exports buffalo meat (commonly known as "carabeef"), which is in high demand in several countries. India also exports poultry and other types of meat.
  2. Brazil: Brazil is the largest meat exporter in the world, known for its significant exports of beef, poultry, and pork. It benefits from abundant land for livestock farming and has a strong presence in the global market.
  3. United States: The United States is a major player in the global meat export industry. It is known for exporting a variety of meats, including beef, pork, and poultry. The country has a well-developed meat processing and production infrastructure.
  4. Australia: Australia is a significant exporter of beef, particularly high-quality grass-fed beef. It has a strong reputation for its clean and safe meat production practices. Australia also exports lamb and mutton to various countries.
  5. Germany: Germany is a major meat exporter within Europe and has a well-established meat industry. It exports various types of meat, including pork, beef, and poultry. German meat products are known for their quality and safety standards.

How to start a meat export business in India?

As we know, the meat export business involves specific challenges and requirements that may vary depending on the target market and type of meat products. To start a meat export business in India, there are you must Engage with industry experts, and export-import provider agencies like who can provide you with valuable and updated market statistics for meat products and support throughout the process. However, there are several steps to start a meat export business in India:

Steps to Start Meat Export Business in India:

Starting a meat export business in India involves several key steps. Here is a brief overview of the process:

  1. Registration of Company - Firstly, you have to register your company to start a processed meat export business in India. These can be sole proprietorships, Person Companies, partnership firms, private limited companies, or LLP Companies.
  2. GST Registration - Secondly, you need a return is a record that the taxpayer must submit to the tax administration authorities and contains a declaration of income. Tax authorities use it to figure out how much money they owe in taxes. A registered dealer under GST is required to submit a GST return.
  3. Trade License - The Food Establishment Licence is a document that enables the applicant to start selling meat in a certain location. It is given out by the Municipal Corporation's licensing division.
  4. Market Research - Conduct thorough market research to identify potential export destinations and understand the demand for Indian meat products in those markets. Also, you need updated and authentic export data for meat products, this, will help you to provide accurate export-import data for meat products, specific HS Codes, and much more.
  5. Legal and Regulatory Compliance - Understand the legal and regulatory framework governing meat exports in India. Obtain necessary licenses and permits, such as an Import-Export Code (IEC), Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) Registration, MSME Registration, Trademark Registration, Halal Certification, and any specific certifications required by the destination country.
  6. Quality Control and Packaging - Implement stringent quality control measures to maintain the highest standards for meat processing, packaging, and labeling. Adhere to the guidelines and specifications of both Indian and international food safety authorities.
  7. Export Documentation - Familiarize yourself with the documentation required for meat exports, such as commercial invoices, packing lists, certificates of origin, health certificates, and any other specific documents mandated by the importing country.
  8. Logistics and Shipping - Develop a robust logistics and shipping plan to ensure the timely delivery of your meat products to international destinations. Choose reliable shipping partners and understand the necessary export procedures and documentation.


Every day, there is more and more demand for processed meat globally. As a result, meat processing facilities have a large market potential for exporting meat. One of the top export business ideas to start is the meat industry. It is a successful business concept. Refer to the detailed ultimate instructions provided above if you want to start a meat export business. You will be better able to describe each stage in depth with clarity. Also, if you need any type of guidance regarding the Meat Export Data, please connect to EximPedia data-driven platform to discover the export-import data for your specific products, HS Codes, and much more. Give us a chance for a live demo today!


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