The companies receiving certificates hope to replicate the success of USAID Economic Security Project partner Turkovic, a Sjenica meat processing company, which obtained Halal certification in 2010 and has since increased export sales by 40 percent since entering the Turkish food market.
Nine food processing companies from Sandzak:Giljeva, Sjenicanka, SandzakKomerc, Fass, Milkop, Turkovic-Lav,Polimka, Ljin, and Zornic – will receive their Halal certificates from the Serbian Halal Certification Agency, the official certifying body for Serbia.
Halal certification verifies that products meet Islamic dietary guidelines and they have beenmade in accordance with Islamic law. Attaining Halal Certification marks an important step for these Sandzak companies in their efforts to enterand compete on the global Halal market.
The companies receiving certificates hope to replicate the success of USAID Economic Security Project partnerTurkovic, a Sjenica meat processing company, which obtained Halal certification in 2010 and has since increased export sales by 40 percent since entering the Turkish food market.
With 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide, Halal is a growing global food market estimated at more than $500 billion a year.
Training to qualify for certification was provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Economic Security Project.The companies shared the costs involved in meeting standards and getting certified withUSAID.
The certification will also help companies increase sales in Sandzak region, a market of a half-million Muslims with a growing interest in foods produced by companies possessing Halal certification. The potential market for Halal expands to 5 million customers in bordering countries alone. Tapping into this market could increase sales and help drive faster economic growth in Sandzak communities.
The certification process was a part of the USAID Economic Security Project’s plan to organize a group of Sandzak food producers to work cooperatively and exhibit their products at the Novi Sad Agriculture Fair, the largest agricultural fair in South East Europe.
USAID’s Economic Security Project provides management, marketing and sales training for 137 small- and medium-sized Sandzak and South Serbia companies.
The USAID project also supports companies’ attendance at domestic and international trade fairs in order to help companies to explore new markets and expand sales.
Since 2008, trade fair attendance from USAID’s Economic Security Project has helped companies from South Serbia and Sandzak generate over $13 million in new sales and to enter new markets in the region as well as in Germany, Russia, Poland, Belarus and the Czech Republic.