The move, part of the government’s plans to diversify agrifoods, has been implemented by a series of trade missions by Mexico's Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA) to five nations across the United Arab Emirates.
Secretariat officials have held meetings with members of the International Accreditation Center of the United Arab Emirates (EIAC) in order to monitor and consolidate the capabilities of the Mexican food industry and how it processes meat with halal certification.
Specialists from the United Arab Emirates have carried out technical accreditation visits for the certifications to beef slaughter and processing plants in the state of San Luis Potosí and chicken plants in Aguascalientes.
The purpose of the visits was to explore the possibility of expanding Mexican exports to the Middle East and Asian markets, according to general coordinator of international affairs for SAGARPA Raul Urteaga Trani.
“The agenda of EIAC experts in Mexico included a technical visit to the National Service of Health, Safety and Agri-Food Quality (SENASICA), where they were shown the technological capabilities and the sanitary, safety and traceability processes that characterise the quality, phytosanitary and zoosanitary [systems] in Mexico,” said Urteaga Trani.
Demand for halal certification is expected to boost Mexico’s total export sales to around $35 billion by the end of this year, according to SAGARPA.
There are currently 61 halal-certified Mexican agrifood plants, which include meat and poultry slaughterhouses.
In 2017, exports of Mexican products to the Arabian Peninsula reached $56.1 million, according to data from the Agriculture Ministry of SAGARPA, based in the United Arab Emirates.
Other key international markets, including Russia, are also driving up exports of halal meat.
According to the International Center for Halal Standardisation and Certification, Russia exported 50,000 tonnes of halal meat during 2017, with Cherkizovo, Miratorg and GAP Resource amongst the Russian companies showing an interest in this segment.