Food export bans, including sugar and edible oils, are impacting food prices across the OIC (Shutterstock).

Halal Industry

Newswrap: Halal industry

European Union wants to boost food exports to Indonesia; Singapore’s MUIS bans meat from Australian producer; More exports bans from OIC countries; Thaw in Tajikistan and Iran trade ties; UAE food tech innovator Grubtech enters Egyptian market.


European Union wants to boost food exports to Indonesia

During a European Union (EU) agri-food promotion event in Jakarta, the 27 member state body said it wanted to bolster exports to the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, reported the Jakarta Globe. The EU exported $1 billion of food to Indonesia in 2021. Indonesia exported $6 billion to the EU, of which 45% were palm and kernel oils, according to European Commission data.

With Indonesia requiring all food to be halal certified by October 2024, EU products will have to comply. Sylvain Biard of Business France, state export agency, told the Jakarta Globe that “the clearer the certification processes are, the better it is for Europe”. “We need to work on the steps to make sure we can collaborate better and promote the European products of halal origin here in Indonesia before the full implementation of the halal law,” said Biard.“For us to better understand the regulations and processes to make sure European products are still accessible to the Indonesian consumers, especially halal ones, but also the haram ones.”

Singapore’s MUIS bans meat from Australian producer

The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) put a ban on the import of meat from Australian meat producer Thomas Foods International Lobethal (TFIL), reported Yahoo News Singapore. “Our decision is based on established facts and inputs from competent authorities, after conducting investigations with various parties involved," said MUIS head of halal supply network Sharifuddin Mohamed Ali.

TFIL is halal certified by the Supreme Islamic Council of Halal Meat in Australia (SICHMA). MUIS said that if investigations showed “serious lapses by SICHMA” the certification bodies may not be renwed. Malaysia has also suspended TFIL imports.

More exports bans from OIC countries

Kyrgyzstan has banned sugar exports for six months over food security and price concerns, reported Agence France Presse. The move follows neighbouring Kazakhstan, which banned sugar exports a month ago. Both countries are net importers of sugar. India, the world’s second largest sugar exporter, capped sugar exports in May. Malaysia has banned exports of live chickens to ensure local demand is met. The country exported 3.6 million chickens a month, mainly to neighbouring Singapore, reported SF Gate.

Thaw in Tajikistan and Iran trade ties

Tajikstan and Iran have had frosty relations since 2016, when the Tajik government imposed food import restrictions and suspended air transportation links. Ties have since thawed, with the two countries signing 17 agreements on cooperation in areas including trade, transportation, energy, education and tourism, reported Eurasianet.

UAE food tech innovator Grubtech enters Egyptian market

UAE-headquartered restaurant and cloud kitchen management platform Grubtech has launched operations in Egypt as part of its ongoing international expansion strategy, according to a press release. Grubtech’s entry into Egypt’s $22 billion food service industry highlights its rapid growth since being established less than three years ago. Grubtech recently secured a $13 million in Series A funding to support growth in the Middle East and Africa but also globally. The platform has increased its user base significantly since its launch in 2019, with operations now spanning 18 international markets. Approximately 97% of Egypt’s 40,000 restaurants are local brands. Grubtech’s operations in the country are to focus both on SME and enterprise customers, as well as cloud kitchens, enabling companies of all sizes to take advantage of the leading-edge omnichannel solution.


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