Russia Standardizes Halal Certification Procedures
The Russian food quality regulator Roskachestvo has accredited an agency to carry out domestic certification of halal products, the head of the watchdog, Maxim Protasov, announced on Thursday.
The new organization, called Roskachestvo-Halal, will begin certification of the market this month (May 2023). It is expected that up to 100 companies will have applied for the halal label by the end of the year. Russia has a large Muslim diaspora with many ethnic Azerbaijanis in the Russian national food supply chain.
Russia also plans to implement halal certification in the service sector, including catering, tourism, the hotel industry, financial and medical services. Certification in these areas will lay the ground for improvement in the quality of halal products and services in Russia, and will boost consumer confidence both domestically and internationally, according to Protasov.
In previous years, numerous Russian companies underwent voluntary certification to begin manufacturing food carrying the halal label.
Halal products have become increasingly popular in Russia in recent years. Many local producers have switched to manufacturing food in accordance with Muslim standards emphasizing that it doesn’t contain antibiotics and soybeans.
The Russian veterinary watchdog Rosselhoznadzor estimated that the share of halal products on the Russian food market in 2022 was about 10%.
Halal products account for 35% of global meat exports. Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest sales market, purchasing halal meat worth $1.2 billion on average per year, according to Rosselhoznadzor.
In February, the Russian government adopted the first nationwide halal standards in a bid to ramp up food exports to Muslim countries.
Over the past three years, Russia has managed to double supplies of products that meet the halal standard, Protasov stated. In 2021, Russia exported halal products worth a record US$180 million to the Persian Gulf, with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates being the largest importers.
Russia is seeking to boost exports of its halal products to Muslim countries to US$400 million by 2024 and to US$700 million by 2030.
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