According to official statistics, Russia has been the fastest-growing market for halal products in the world in recent years, with domestic demand growing at an average of 30-40% annually over the past year. Halal products in Russia are popular among both Muslim and non-Muslim consumers, who believe that the ‘halal’ mark guarantees quality.
Production of halal meat has also been growing at a rapid rate and Russia produced around 65,000 tonnes of halal meat products in 2011 – enough to meet internal demands. With the rate of production showing no signs of slowing, domestic producers are now looking to establish exports markets.
In a bid to help manufacturers meet international standards of halal production, Russia has established a centre for the monitoring of the world halal market and its quality standards. Russian producers are also participating in key worldwide halal exhibitions, including the recent International Conference on Halal Food, which was held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Aydar Gazizov, director of a special department which represented Russian producers at the conference, said: “Today we have a total of about 75 certified halal production companies. These are large meat-processing and poultry processing companies. There are also many sausage shops.
“It is a good time for our halal poultry producers to go to foreign markets. Our products will be accepted in North Africa, south-east Asia and the Far East and there will be demand for them, but only if they fully comply with halal standards and are competitive on price.”
In February, the Russian agricultural company Akashevo began to supply poultry meat to Saudi Arabia and, very soon, several Russian companies will negotiate on the terms and conditions of contracts to supply halal meat products to the UAE.
Russia’s third International HALAL-Expo will be held in Moscow this summer.