Azerbaijani companies can begin exporting halal products

Azerbaijan, Baku, October 28, 2012 /Trend I.Khalilova/

Azerbaijani companies began to address to the Association for the certification and control of food and consumer goods (GIMDES), which has been operating since 2005 in Turkey, to confirm the compliance of their products with halal standards. The certification will expand opportunities for exports.

The association basically gives certificates to Turkish companies, but along with this the document, according to which compliance with halal is checked and controlled, issued also to Bulgarian, Russian, German, Kazakh and South Korean companies, chief auditor, a member of the Board of Directors GIMDES Ali Kaygysyz told Trend.

“The company Deveci Broyler is among the Azerbaijani companies, which turned to us. With our certificate the company can export to Turkey or other countries,” Kaygysyz said.

Deveci Broyler is a producer of chicken products of Seba brand in Azerbaijan. Potential importers of Deveci Broyler’s products could be Russia, as the country imported chicken meat in large quantities, and the countries of Central Asia.

Shareholders of Deveci Broyler are two legal entities – the Azerbaijan Investment Company (AIC – 25 percent) and Baku Investment company (74 percent) and two individuals.

According to a GIMDES, a certificate is issued for one year for the first time, and then it is updated every two years. Fee in the amount of 1500 to 3500 lira (at 28 October rate is 1,7915 TL / USD) is charged for the certification.

“Certification of halal products was the purpose of the organization. We have started the certification of halal products since 2009. About 280 companies have applied to us to obtain the certificate until now. After the issuance of the certificate we conduct periodic monitoring of their products. We inspect products in specialized laboratories twice a year, and install 24-hour camera surveillance at slaughterhouses,” a member of the Board of Directors GIMDES said.

In case of any inconsistency with halal standards the certificate is withdrawn.

The first three state halal standards in Azerbaijan are approved and put into effect on August 1, 2012. These standards define the general requirements for the production, transportation, storage and sale of halal meat products, the general rules for the use of the term halal, and the general requirements for halal food standards.

The requirements of all three standards are obligatory.

These standards were developed by the Azerbaijan Institute of Standards.

State Committee on Standardization, Metrology and Patents of Azerbaijan develops these standards in the working group of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

A halal technical committee will be established under the State Committee for Standardization, Metrology and Patents of Azerbaijan, Chairman of the Committee Ramiz Hasanov said.

He said there is a standard halal in the country, but the products are not fully compliant to the standard.

In this regard, according to Hasanov, a new technical committee should be established to regulate this issue.

It is also expected to adopt standards on food for pre-school and secondary schools.

Work to develop these standards is carried out jointly with the Ministry of Health and Education.