The number of consumers of the food produced in line with the Halal standards has been growing for years now while an increasing number of Serbian companies have been inquiring about implementing Halal in their production.
Prijepolje is one of the few municipalities in Serbia that grants subsidies for Halal certification. The municipality has been providing subsidies for the third year running in an effort to help agricultural and food producers to reach a wider market.
“Last year, we set aside 3 million dinars for this purpose. Fifteen companies and individual producers competed for this money, with five of them actually meeting the prescribed conditions. A total of 1.5 million dinars was allocated in the end”, says Dragoljub Zindovic, president of the municipality of Prijepolje.
The Halal Certification Agency says that acquiring the certification is not only a challenge, but a ticket to mass global market with over 1.4 billion consumers of the food produced in line with this standard. “Products that contain alcohol, pork and GMO cannot be Halal certified. There are 53 companies in Serbia at the moment that possess the Halal certificate, and close to 15 that are in the process of obtaining the certificate”, says Samir Tandir from the certification agency based in Novi Pazar.
The Agency provides training to interested companies, and, once they obtain the certificate, the production process is scrutinized at least on four different stages – from checking the origin of raw materials used to the product that is ready to hit the shops.
The meat company Zlatiborac from Mackat received its certification in 2011. „Thanks to the Halal quality, our company has been exporting to Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and several other countries in the Islamic world. Many supermarket chains from the EU have now included Halal products in their product range“, CEO of Zlatiborac, Dusko Knezevic explans.
Apart from the municipality of Prijepolje, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Vojvodinian government also provide subsidies for the certification.
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