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Belarusian meat-packing plants seek to obtain UAE halal certificate

Economy 11.07.2018 | 13:36
An archive photo
An archive photo

MINSK, 11 July (BelTA) - Belarusian meat packing plants intend to obtain еру halal certificate to supply products to the United Arab Emirates, Ambassador of Belarus to the United Arab Emirates and concurrently to Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia Roman Golovchenko told reporters in Minsk on 11 July, BelTA has learned.

Halal is not a generic certificate valid in all Muslim countries. There are different certification systems. A Belarusian enterprise may have the halal certificate to export to Indonesia or Egypt but needs another one to sell into, for example, the UAE, Saudi Arabia. First of all, the matter is about meat products. Belarus has been successfully exporting dairy products to the countries of the Arabian peninsula. Unfortunately, none of the Belarusian meat processing plant has yet a certificate compliant with the UAE halal system. Meat products have special requirements associated with the process of slaughtering, meat processing and so forth, and Belarusian meat industry enterprises seeking to work in this market must comply with these requirements. Obtaining the halal certificate is a priority for our enterprises,” Ambassador Roman Golovchenko said.

The Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry hosted a seminar on the rules of obtaining the halal certificate. “We invited the director of the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology with an aim to give an impetus to the certification process. We has been engaged in this effort for a long time. The procedure is not very easy. You need to perform a lot of technical procedures, to adapt the technological cycle. The UAE delegation is prepared to assist us and to work with the Belarusian certification organizations to accredit them to issue the halal certificate to Belarusian enterprises,” the ambassador noted.

The UAE is dependent on imports for 85-90% of its food needs. By the import volume this market is ranked 15th in the world. “This is a big market. This is not only domestic consumption but a huge flow of re-export to the countries of the Arabian peninsula, Africa. We must view this market as an entry point to the whole region. We have already settled a number of technical issues regarding food supplies, did a great work on the recognition of veterinary certificates for food products. Obtaining the halal certificate by Belarusian meat packing plants is the issue to be yet settled. We still need to finalize the issues of veterinary inspection of enterprises,” the diplomat said.

In recent years the Belarus food exports to the UAE have been on the rise. According to the Belarusian ambassador, three to four years ago, the volumes were very small. Last year the export of food to the UAE reached approximately $1 million. Belarus exports dairy and canned fish. The Santa Bremor fish processing company, Savushkin Product dairy, Turov milk factory and a number of other Belarusian dairy enterprises have been active on that market. “We started with this commodity group because the process of certification and licensing is easy. We explore the market, look for good partners, make our way into retail networks. Every year we add hundreds of thousands of dollars to our export figures. This year we have seen very good export dynamics to Saudi Arabia. The Belarusian export to that market was virtually non-existent. This year we have started supplying dried milk, cultured milk foods,” the diplomat informed.

Chairman of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) Vladimir Ulakhovich added that Belarus has a great potential market to increase exports to Muslim countries. “The countries where halal products are in demand account for 20% of the global food market. In recent years, this market segment has been growing very fast. If we take a look at ten countries where halal products are in high demand, seven of them are our traditional partners: Pakistan, the UAE, Oman, Indonesia, Egypt and others. We need to work to harness this potential. Export diversification is another priority for our country,” he noted.

Director of the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology Abdulla Al Maeeni noted that Belarusian food products are known for their high quality. “The goal of the current visit to Belarus is to explore new areas of cooperation and new kinds of goods to be delivered under the halal certification system. The UAE now applies a simplified certification system. The certificate that will be issued under this system will be valid in many markets,” he said.

The seminar on the rules of obtaining the halal certificate has been organized by the Business Education Center at the BCCI as part of the new large-scale project “School of Export”. The aim is to step up exports to Muslim countries and other halal products markets.

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