“There are favourable conditions for Russian agricultural producers to get involved in halal exports, which is of interest to countries in the Middle East, north Africa and south-east Asia,” Aidar Gazizov, director general for the International Center for Halal Standardisation and Certification told GlobalMeatNews.
In November 2017, Russian halal products export body Gulftic-ICSC Halal was authorised by the GCC Accreditation Center established by the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, and this should provide a strong impetus to further growth in export supplies, Gazizov said.
Halal meat exports from Russia are expected to grow by 200-300% in the next five years, from the current level of 50,000t to 100,000-150,000t a year, Albert Davleyev, president of Russian consulting agency Agrifood Strategies told GlobalMeatNews.
“Several major Russian poultry, beef, turkey and venison producers plan to invest in halal operations and dedicate some of their assets to exports. Halal poultry meat – chicken and turkey – from Russia is not very competitive with US or Brazilian products as yet, but Russian exporters sometimes take advantage of the situation when these countries have difficulty in complying with demands from Middle Eastern halal accreditation bodies or have internal food safety control issues,” Davleyev said.
According to Davleyev, Russia’s neighbours in Central Asia offer big potential for expansion. However, the success of the halal export program will depend largely on the rouble exchange rate, which is strengthening due to increasing oil prices, as well as on the ability of Russian producers to meet the food safety and halal requirements of their main export destinations.
Halal beef exports on the up
So far, Russia has mainly exported halal poultry, but exports may soon expand to beef supplied abroad, primarily from Russian agricultural holding Miratorg.
According to Gazizov, Miratorg has been exporting halal beef to Muslim countries for several years. Although the quantities of beef exports are not comparable with poultry, they are in a clear growth trend, Gazizov claimed.
“Russian beef may become the second prospective export item, as its major producer in Russia – Miratorg – keeps investing in new beef cattle complexes and has started contracting suppliers of dairy bull calves to grow operations throughout the country. Within the next four to five years, Miratorg’s beef output may double, making beef more available both for domestic consumption and exports,” added Davleyev.