Miratorg certified several meat-processing plants in accordance with the Muslim standards in early 2016, establishing halal meat exports to post-Soviet Middle East and Muslim countries. Additionally, the business began supplying premium beef cuts to some halal steak houses, primarily in Moscow, according to its website.
Three halal products have been introduced to its stores: Black Angus beef; beef from pasture-fed cows and broiler meat, the company announced.
Miratorg expects to expand halal meat sales in the nearest future. The move dovetails with the planned development of the company’s retail chain, which at the moment is primarily focused on emerging in the regions of the Russian Central Federal District. However, most Muslims in the country are known to reside in the republics of the North-Caucasus and South-Federal Districts.
Miratorg’s press-service said sales of halal meat in the company’s branded stores had been launched in a pilot project designed to assess demand for such products. Miratorg has been successfully supplying halal meat to hotels, restaurants and caterers.
If the pilot project was successful, the company said it would significantly increase the production of halal meat and consider delivering those products into other retail chains across the country.
Dmitry Sergeev, the company’s press-secretary, has not provided any further detail on the project in response to GlobalMeatNews’ requests.
Halal meat gains popularity in Russia
Estimates of most of Russia’s halal meat processors suggest demand has been steadily growing in the country over the past years.
Elena Gulenkina, marketing director of the Russian Grain agricultural holding, said demand for halal meat was growing not only among Muslims, but also among non-religious consumers. Shoppers felt the product, manufactured in accordance with halal standards, was perceived as clean and ecologically friendly, she added. Russian Grain specialises in production of halal meat, primarily chicken.
Russia’s largest meat producer, agricultural holding Cherkizovo, also produces halal meat under its Latifa and Dajajti brands. In late August Cherkizovo secured certification for those brands to be exported to Iraq, but according to the company some of its halal meat was also destined to the domestic market.