Spain: Export Demand Driving Spanish Halal Food Sector

SPAIN – Western Europe’s Muslim population has exploded from less than 250,000 to between 15 and 20 million currently, according to Cecilia Ruiz, Manager, Bord Bia Madrid.

Halal food is one of the fastest growing food sectors in the world, already accounting for approximately 17% of the global food market.

According to the Spanish Halal Institute, more than two million practicing Muslims currently reside in Spain (mainly in Andalucía, Catalonia and Madrid) with the figure growing steadily.

Halal food products are now available in major Spanish supermarkets, especially in areas with densely populated Muslim communities and during Muslim festive seasons.

Therefore, Spanish Halal production is on the rise, with more than one hundred meat businesses currently holding the Halal certification (20% more than in 2008).

Despite the growing domestic demand, Spain exports around 70 per cent of all its halal production with exports covering products such as meats, vegetable oils, cheese and spices.

Currently, there is no internationally recognised halal trademark with most countries developing their own certification standards.

The growth of Spanish exports of halal food highlights potential opportunities for Irish companies to serve this growing part of the European food market.