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Russia to launch halal poultry exports in 2015

By Vladislav Vorotnikov , 19-Mar-2015

The first deliveries will be supplied to UAE and Qatar
The first deliveries will be supplied to UAE and Qatar

Russia is getting ready to launch exports of halal poultry products to the Middle East in the coming months, Russian veterinary body Rosselkhoznadzor has announced. The first deliveries will be supplied to UAE and Qatar, with exports of halal chicken posing a significant opportunity for Russian poultry farmers.

“Russian authorities are doing everything possible so that, this year, [our poultry-producing companies] can begin deliveries of products to Qatar that meet Muslim quality control specifications,” stated Alexey Alekseenko, assistant to the head of Rosselkhoznadzor. “We have a growing volume of such products in Russia, since there are 23 million Muslims in our country.”

He said the export of halal poultry was a “new promising trend” and would help to further increase Russian poultry production and create new workplaces in the regions.

However, any success in establishing such supplies would depend on the willingness of businesses and on prices on the global market, added Alekseenko.

Russia and Qatar are currently negotiating the process of veterinary certification. Representatives from Rosselkhoznadzor said the question on supply volumes had not been raised so far.

The head of Russia’s Economic Department of the Council of Muftis (Muslim religious scholars) is also negotiating with the UAE on establishing exports of halal chicken to this country. It is expected that the first deliveries could be launched by mid-2015.

“Last year, Russia did not export halal poultry products, but it has already supplied other halal products abroad, such as confectionery and food additives. Now, three domestic companies have requested certification for the export of halal chicken,” said Aydar Gazizov, director of the International Center for Halal Standardization and Certification.

It is believed that establishing halal poultry exports could benefit the wider poultry export market in Russia. Market experts at Russia’s Agrorucom agency believe the country could potentially supply 10,000–15,000 tonnes (t) of halal poultry meat to the Middle East in 2015, if supplies were launched by mid-2015, and at least double this figure in 2016.

In 2014, Russia exported 65,000t of poultry and, according to forecasts from the country’s Agricultural Ministry, this figure should rise by 1.5 to two times, to 100,000t–130,000t. Representatives from the Council of Muftis in Russia have previously predicted that the halal poultry industry will experience growing demand in the Russian market, even from the non-Muslim population, as citizens often consider this meat to be “clean”.

Gazizov also confirmed that, to become involved in the production of halal poultry, farmers should comply with several of the rules of Shariah, including not using several feed additives.

Last year Russia increased poultry production by 233,000t year-on-year to 4.04 million tonnes.

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