European hub gears to Halal market
The Port of Rotterdam has recognised the growing continental demand for Halal goods with a new warehousing facility.
Europe’s biggest and busiest port facility recently announced its intention to provide a dedicated facility for the produce, which will be housed within the Distriparc Maasvlakte area, one of three concentration zones for distribution and value added logistics.
Representing a US$45 billion grocery market, retail giants across the continent have woken to the needs of the Islamic market. Tesco now offers over 15 Halal lines across 117 of its stores in the UK alone.
Malaysia is the largest exporter of Halal produce, and whilst much of the European foodstuffs currently come from South America, Rotterdam is eager to become the European Halal gateway, and is expanding these operations to cope with a greater influx of internationally sourced supplies.
“If you look at containers and all other trades around the port, it is all coming via water in big ships and is then distributed via Rotterdam. We realise this is our very own market,” said Captain Kees Weststrate, senior business development manager for Port of Rotterdam.
Keen to maximise sales in this sector, European giants such as Carrefour, Asda and Tesco are aware of the wider needs of guaranteeing the reliability of the supply chain, and are gearing it to meet these needs. This requires strict adherence to guidelines from the farm to the fork; most importantly, Halal goods cannot be contaminated by transportation with swine produce. “That is what we can readily deliver right now,” said Weststrate.
Technology is helping in this regard, with the integrity of closed containers now easily and cheaply monitored and assured, from the Halal abattoir, right through the cold-chain supply network, to the distribution centres in Europe.