Valio Võru Cheese Plant successfully passed an audit, as a result of which the plant and the cheese produced over there were awarded a Halal certification. With the certificate, the production of Valio cheese and the raw material used for that are recognised as compliant with the standards established in the Islamic countries.
According to Maido Solovjov, the CEO of Valio Eesti, the high-quality cheese, produced in Võru, has been of great interest to the representatives of Islamic countries during various foreign fairs; however so far, the lack of certification has prevented us from engaging in actual transactions.
“Thanks to the certification, the flagship of our export, the Italian hard cheese Forte, as well as the new hard cheese - Gran Regale - recently introduced to the domestic market, are now ready to conquer the new markets. The Halal certification not only opens doors to the markets of the Arabian and other Islamic countries, but this is requested also by Muslim communities with high consumption potential, living elsewhere in the world’s largest countries,” Solovjov explained.
“For example, we have pursued export to the Republic of South Africa and Canada, where thanks to the Halal certification, it is possible to notably expand the sales network especially in those channels, which primarily serve the Muslims,” he added.
In addition to the Forte and Gran Regale cheese, certification was awarded also to Atleet Cheddar, Lacey Swiss cheese, the popular cheeses in the South European countries - Regato and Cagliata, as well as to the whey concentrate, which is also an export article of the Valio Cheese Plant.
During the certification process conducted by the Halal Feed and Food Inspection Authority, operating in Hague, the experts examined the entire documentation on all inputs and production processes relating to the cheese production and carried out an on-site audit. The certification is valid for one year, after which another audit must be undertaken to maintain the right of using the Halal label.