Russia enters Saudi Arabia's meat market
According to the report, Moscow and Riyadh signed veterinary and sanitary certificates for beef, poultry, lamb and goat meat, and eggs. Rosselkhoznadzor will have the right to approve Russian farmers that meet the requirements of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is the largest meat importer in the Middle East, buying 2.1 billion USD last year. The Islamic country approves only meat that has a halal certificate. Halal generally means permissible under Islamic law. To make meat halal, the slaughterer should be Muslim, the animal must be turned to face Mecca and other requirements.
Russia has been the largest producer and exporter of grain in the last two years. The country also plans to significantly boost meat exports. According to Agriculture Minister Aleksandr Tkachev, meat production in Russia is up five percent this year. The Russian Federal Customs Service says exports of Russian meat last year almost doubled. In 2016, Russia sold 219 million USD of meat abroad, compared to 119 million USD in 2015. The growth was spurred by increasing demand from Asian countries.