ZAGREB, Sept 19 (Hina) – The 100th halal certificate in Croatia was presented to the Ljekovitoe gljive d.o.o. family company on Tuesday, making Croatia the regional leader in halal certification, and a cooperation agreement was signed between the Islamic Community in Croatia and the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK).
Representatives of the Croatian agriculture and foreign ministries, embassies, the Croatian Exporters association, the Turkish Development Agency, and halal certified companies. attended the ceremony at the Islamic Centre Zagreb.
It is important that Croatia is part of the global halal trend, no longer just a matter of faith and way of life but health too, which is being increasingly recognised in non-Islamic countries, said Eugene Levterov, general manager of MHP Food Trading LLC from Dubai, a distributor which promotes, inspects and sells halal products.
Halal certificates have been awarded in Croatia since 2010 by the Islamic Centre’s halal certification centre, whose head, Aldin Dugonjic, said the global halal market was estimated at US$ 2 trillion.
“In Croatia we see an increase in interest for certification and our analysis shows that 49% of the companies which are halal certified have increased their exports and profits. There’s still a lot of development potential and we hope the agreement with the HGK will contribute to that,” he said.
Dugonjic said 66 food producers, 18 hotels, seven travel agencies, one catering company and one elementary school in Croatia have been awarded with halal certificates and that negotiations were under way with several more.
“We are proud that none of our certificates had complaints from outside circles. We believe this raises the competitiveness of Croatian products and invite Croatian producers to attend the World Halal Summit in Istanbul from 23rd to 25th November ,” he said, adding that a European Halal Summit in Croatia was being planned for autumn 2018.
The head of the Islamic Community in Croatia, Aziz Hasanovic, said the 100th halal certificate in Croatia was important and underlined the good cooperation between the Islamic Centre Zagreb and the HGK in opening new markets and facilitating deals for Croatian companies.
“Our halal standard has the Croatian quality designation, which is very rare among other countries. It’s important that they keep up the level of quality and consumer confidence,” he said, adding that the agreement with the HGK represented a new level of cooperation as well as the promotion of halal and the value of Croatian products.
HGK president Luka Burilovic said halal products facilitated economic and export potential on Islamic markets as well as those markets that value and seek that standard, notably for food and tourism companies.