The ‘Agroexport’ and MGIMO Held a Workshop on Halal Certification for Agriexporters

On June 21, The Agroexport Federal Center together with MGIMO performed a seminar “Export certification of agricultural products according to Halal procedures”. The event was held as part of the MGIMO strategic project “Institute of World Agricultural Markets” under the governmental program supporting Russian universities “Priority 2030”. The attendance comprised more than 200 participants online.

Opening the event, Dmitry Krasnov, the Head of The Agroexport Federal Center enumerated the key Islamic food markets: Indonesia, Bangladesh and Egypt. Moreover, the demand for halal products in the UK, EU, USA, China and India is also being observed. “Over the recent years, the key global Halal market driver is not just the Muslim population growing, but also the marketing efforts: Halal becomes a consumer benchmark that inspires confidence, regardless of the religion”. He pointed out that Russian exports of halal products have doubled over the past 3 years and amounting to $180 million in 2021, with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates becoming the largest importers. “However, we’d not stop our advance just at the Middle East, so our August business mission to Malaysia is aimed at further Russian Halal deployment all over other Asian countries”, – he added.

The Deputy Director of the Agroexport Dmitry Shestakov detailed the general international legal concept of Halal itself. He mentioned the main terms used in the international Halal regulations, certification matters and outlined the milestones constituting and developing the Russian Halal standards.

By the end of 2022, the global Halal market is expected to grow by more than 9% coined Ilya Strokin, the Agro-Industrial Competence Center director of the Joint-stock company Kept. “The impact of the coronavirus pandemic and supply chains disruptions have not affected the growth of global Halal demand, – he said. – According to experts, the probable Russian exports of Halal products within the Middle East alone is estimated at $700 million by 2030”.

Anatoly Cherenkov, the Head of the Agroexport Legal Support Department highlighted that Russian Halal certification procedure is not mandatory. The global practice offers no single universal Halal standards. When planning supplies to some particular country, manufacturers have to undergo the national Halal certification anyway.

Yusuf Rikov, an independent expert consultant on Halal accreditation presented the step-by-step instruction for poultry and livestock enterprises facilitating the certification issues. It is not just about slaughter in accordance with Shariah requirements, but also deals with all food additives, packaging materials, as well as logistics, separate storage facilities and so forth.

The officers of the most prominent Russian companies exporting Halal products shared their experience in emerging within particular national markets.

The Halal certification specialists should be recruited even at the stage of designing production facilities in order to foresee every technological and religious nuances from the very beginning, said Natalia Bartnovskaya, the head of the Cherkizovo Group Export Development and Support Department.

The export director of Damate Group Eldar Sattarov reassured that all corporate facilities are certified according to the Halal standards. He is confident that in addition to export markets, such products should be in great demand within the domestic market. He showcased the Salima brand, which was originally developed for the Middle East and CIS markets featuring substantial Muslim population, but was well appreciated by Russian key retailers.

Alla Belotelkina, the Head of the Certification at United Confectioners LLC, dwelled on confectionery halal certification points. She emphasized that Halal certificate is not a 100% guarantee of success for imported products in the markets of the Middle East. The manufacturer should consider the traditions of the Muslim world and even the packaging design should meet the cultural background.

Finalizing the seminar, Anna Chekhomova, the new products development director at maslov:agency unveiled the main provisions of the Concept for positioning Russian chocolate products at the Saudi Arabia and the Middle East markets elaborated by the Agroexport together with the industry experts in 2021. She also presented the results of quantitative and qualitative consumer researches in the GCC countries and gave the insight on the positioning of confectionery products for these markets.

The event was moderated by Georgy Semenov, Project Manager of the Agroexport.
The event’s distributive is available on the websites of the Agroexport and the Institute of World Agricultural Markets.