Viral posts on social media are falsely making claims that HMA Agro, a company that is bound for an initial public offering (IPO), is an exporter of cow meat.
This is false, since the company exports buffalo meat. Further, the export of cow meat is banned in India. The company makes both these points clear through the Red Herring Prospectus made available through the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) towards the company's potential IPO. The fact that cow meat exports are banned in India has also been outlined as part of the government's trade policy.
Further, the company is registered as an integrated abattoir and meat processing plant for the production of buffalo meat and derivative products from it with the Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) under the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
The claim on HMA Agro can be seen below. BOOM received it as a forward on its WhatsApp helpline.
"The company deals in cow meat processing and export", the claims states, also playing on the Muslim names of the promoters. Documents from the company show that these names are true.
This is also viral on social media.
BOOM found that the IPO documents filed by the company and information available with the government show that the company does not export cow meat but buffalo meat since the export of cow meat is banned in India.
On June 13, SEBI - India's financial market regulator - made the Red Herring Prospectus of the company public. A Red Herring Prospectus is a document a company files with a country's designated market regulator before it intends to go public through an IPO. The document highlights the industry the company operates in, the company's financials, management, promoters and key figures, the offer details and challenges the company faces among other details.
In the Red Herring Prospectus, after outlining the global meat market, company states that all reference beef exports done by it refer to water buffalo or carabeef, whose exports are permitted in India.
"In Indian context, meat/carabeef refers to buffalo meat only. Indian exports are carabeef (water buffalo)", the document says.
It can be seen here.
Data from the United States Department of Agriculture shows that India is a major exporter of beef around the globe, second in the world after Brazil in 2022 in terms of quantity exported and so far 2023 reported till April.
The report, titled 'Livestock and Poultry: World Markets and Trade', also has a footnote stating that Indian exports are solely carabeef or water buffalo.
The USDA's report can be seen here.
Further, the Union Ministry of Commerce has also said that exports of cow meat are banned. This according to a response given by the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry to Rajya Sabha.
"As per Foreign Trade Policy 2015-2020, export of beef (which includes meat and edible offal of cow, oxen, calf) is ‘prohibited’. Thus, year-wise export data, State-wise share of export, details of new beef export licenses and details of beef exporters does not arise", the reply says, to a response asking whether India exported cow mean and asking for the quantum for the same.
This can be seen below.
HMA Agro is also approved as a integrated abattoir and meat processing plant with APEDA.
The products offered by the company, according to APEDA, are chilled boneless buffalo meat, chilled buffalo offal, frozen boneless buffalo meat and frozen buffalo offals.