Russia to triple halal supplies to Persian Gulf states and Egypt — up to $700 million

Dmitry Krasnov, the head of Agroexport, announced plans to expand cooperation with the region

Russia to triple halal supplies to Persian Gulf states and Egypt — up to $700 million
Photo: Динар Фатыхов

For the successful export of Russian halal products, it is important to develop a strategy that would take into account all the features of the global market, the participants of the profile session of the Ministry of Agriculture of Russia on the fields of KazanForum came to this conclusion. “We expect that by 2030, the volume of exports of halal products to the countries of the Persian Gulf and Egypt may exceed 700 million dollars, that is, it is going to grow more than three times," the Russian side is convinced. Foreign colleagues talked more about the need to build trusting relationships to expand cooperation. Read the details in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

Russia is going to expand the geography of halal exports to North African countries

The export of halal products is a promising direction for Russian manufacturers. Now they are faced with the task of obtaining certificates of compliance with halal standards, which are approved by international organisations, as well as finding reliable distributors to create a stable sales channel in the global market. This was discussed yesterday in the framework of a thematic panel discussion of the Ministry of Agriculture of Russia at KazanForum.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture of Russia Maxim Uvaidov stressed that Russia has always been and will always be a reliable, guaranteed importer and supplier of products to many countries of the world. In 2022, the global market for halal products amounted to $2 trillion. The projected annual increase in spending in the Muslim world by 2050 is 7-10%. Half of them are food products. Today, Russia, according to Uvaidov, is among the top 5 non-Muslim exporting countries to the OIC countries. At the same time, over the past three years, the volume of exports of halal products has increased by 2 times.

In 2021, our country supplied halal products worth 180 million dollars to the states of the Persian Gulf. In 2022, exports in this niche increased by 24%.

“So far, 90% is accounted for by poultry products and by-products. But we hope that our other products will find their place in the markets of these countries. At the same time, Russia plans to expand the geography of exports to the countries of North Africa, negotiations have been held. We hope this happen this year," added the deputy head of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation.

According to him, for the development of the industry, a lot of work needs to be done to adopt uniform standards in it. In 2022, two national halal standards were developed in the field of standardisation, in addition, 17 more standards were transferred to the federal fund, which are used in the certification of halal for export. In 2023, the standards of Indonesia were registered, where Russia also hopes to supply its products.

There is work to be done in the field of certification, until recently there have been no halal certification bodies in Russia with permission from Rosaccreditation. In 2022, the Halal Consulting, Monitoring and Certification Centre was established at Roskachestvo. To further expand the export of halal products, recognition of Russian certification bodies in the main exporting countries is required.

They also discussed additional measures to support halal producers at the regional level. So far, they have been introduced in the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug, and Bashkortostan. There is an agreement that the same support will be provided to businesses in Tatarstan, Maxim Uvaidov noted.

It is very important to have the trust of the Muslim consumer!

The next speaker was Moteb Al-Mezani, CEO of the GCC Accreditation Centre. He represents an independent body that is engaged in the accreditation of halal certification bodies in the world. Thanking for the invitation to the forum and the initiative to increase exports of Russian halal goods, the speaker focused on several aspects of certification. According to him, the main criteria are quality, compliance with Islamic standards and accreditation of organisations that issue halal certificates.

“It is very important that there is trust, it is based on the norms of Sharia and the requirements of the Muslim consumer!” said Moteb Al-Mezani. скриншот видео дискуссии KazanForum

“It is very important that there is trust, it is based on the norms of Sharia and the requirements of the Muslim consumer!” Moteb Al-Mezani emphasised.

Another criterion is from the field of metrology, he added. It is necessary to observe the measurement system of those Muslim countries where the goods will be delivered.

Maxim Protasov, the head of the Russian Quality System ANO, who spoke next, noted that 35% of the global market is occupied by halal products. “Just this morning, with colleagues from Malaysia, we've discussed their experience in creating halal hubs, incubators — such regional centres where specialists and experts exchange, which allows enterprises to develop. There are currently 21 such hubs operating in Malaysia," he said.

“We promote Russia as a major player in the global halal market”

The National Competence Centre in the field of halal products and services, established on the basis of Roskachestvo, is engaged in promoting national standardisation and recognition of Russian certificates in different countries. With colleagues from Muslim countries, training seminars have been organised for our specialists on international halal standards.

“Halal certificates from Roskachestvo are recognised in Oman and Qatar. Yesterday, Kuwait, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and a number of countries included our certificates in the register of their trusted certificates. And of course, the markets of Indonesia, Algeria, Malaysia, Pakistan and Iran are our priorities. I am sure they will be implemented in the near future. Now, at all major Russian international forums, we promote Russia as a major necessary player in the global halal market," Protasov said.

The director of the halal centre of The Saudi Food and Drug Authority, Yousif Salem Alharbi, continued the conversation about the unification of requirements in the certification of halal products: “We must cooperate in this direction so that everyone contributes and so that manufacturers comply with uniform criteria for halal products worldwide in order to protect local and international consumers.” During the discussion, his colleague also stressed that halal is not just a sticker on the packaging of goods, “it indicates good production and quality”.

This idea was developed by Dr. Hussein Samh Al Masroori, Director General of the Food Safety and Quality Center in Oman: “Halal products are not just food, they are a way of life, respect for consumer rights that we must respect, and only this will lead the business to success.” According to him, the demand for these products is growing all over the world, so they must be certified. “It is very important to create trusting relationships between all market participants," he stressed. Exports between Russia and Oman have increased by 59% and reached $150 million.

“This is an entire ecosystem, not a niche market. We should develop a sustainable development strategy. Only by working together will we be able to ensure that standards are harmonised, and this will ensure a prosperous future for us," the speaker stressed.

“We need to move towards Asian markets”

Dmitry Krasnov, the head of the Agroexport Federal Centre, moderating the meeting, provided several figures for clarity. Today, 25% of the world's inhabitants profess Islam and the population growth rate in Muslim countries is twice the global average, because their inhabitants are younger.

“About 60% of Muslim consumers are people under the age of 30, which means that there is a huge scope for our manufacturers in terms of the diversity of these products, the search for new tastes and markets. This is a young and growing direction," he noted.

In addition to demography, the incomes of residents of the OIC countries also demonstrate good dynamics. Consumer spending by Muslims is growing by 7-10% annually, and not all of these states can provide themselves with food, due to climatic conditions. Therefore, imports of halal products will also grow actively, and the growth rate will be higher than for other products, Krasnov is convinced. If now this figure is at the level of $280 billion, then by 2027 it is going to reach $369 billion.

According to him, the MENA region (which unites the countries of the Maghreb and the Middle East), where 460 million people live and the proportion of Muslims is more than 95%, is fundamental for Russia. The volume of this market is quite large — $440 billion, or almost a third of the total existing market volume of food produced on demand halal.

“For us, this is a convenient direction, logically accessible, and today the markets of these countries are the main importers of our products, so we will move even more actively in this direction. Over the past five years, Russia has increased exports of halal products by 40%, the supply of poultry, beef, and lamb has increased significantly, and I think we have a very big prospect here, too.

Russia's leading partners are Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Since the first one, exports have increased 4 times over the past five years, but the possibilities are even higher. Last year was marked by the beginning of work with the Algerian market, where Russian milk powder began to be supplied.

“We need to move towards Asian markets. We are on the verge of opening the Indonesian market for cattle meat, we are waiting for the opening of poultry meat. The halal infrastructure in Russia has been created, two of the five certification centres already operate, so we are ready to supply to Malaysia. “We expect that by 2030, the volume of exports of halal products to the countries of the Persian Gulf and Egypt may exceed 700 million dollars, that is, it is going to grow more than three times," the the head of Agroexport is convinced.

We need to move towards Asian markets, the head of Agroexport is convinced. screenshot KazanForum video discussion. скриншот видео дискуссии KazanForum

Representatives of various business associations cited the growing export figures as an example. Thus, the dairy category turned out to be the most dynamically growing: “Russia has entered the global dairy market in earnest and for a long time. The increase in domestic production — one million tons of raw milk annually — is 1.5 billion dollars. A significant share of this volume will be directed to the development of exports," said Artem Belov, the head of the National Union of Milk Producers.

The representative of Ghana, the owner of LlamiGh Ghana Limited, Abbas Y Mohammed, noted that in his country they appreciate the quality of Russian products, but there are issues with certification. Some products have to be returned. “We are used to kilogram packages, so it is difficult for us to sell others," he said and urged partners from Russia to comply with Ghana's packaging and price requirements. This will help build trusting relationships. Colleagues took this remark into account and promised to take it into account.

Vasilya Shirshova

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