'Religious certifications and exports of foodstuffs and food ingredients'
In the current reshuffling of international commerce and the need to identify new markets, two new, highly promising strategic directions stand out for Greek food industries:
  • The market for food ingredients
  • The market for foodstuffs (and food ingredients) with religious certification
The market of food ingredients is a major global market with a rapidly increasing turnover. The importance of natural food ingredients is ever-increasing, as consumers are interested in improving their dietary habits. At the same time, a new EU regulation on improving foodstuff labelling in the EU came into effect in December.
In this framework, the Mintel market survey company concludes in a new survey that over 12% of foodstuffs and beverages that entered the market in 2013 claim to have a plant origin, a rate twice that of 2009.
The recent announcement of the CNS Media survey company, that Greek yoghurt is now used as a raw material in 10 new products in the USA and Great Britain, also caused a stir. 
The Greek food ingredient industry, with a wealth of ingredients hailing from the fertile Greek land and prepared according to traditional production methods, must become active and promote its products to the international food industry that produces intermediate or final products and seeks natural or artificial raw and secondary materials of the highest quality.
In this framework, the first part of the colloquium will consist of a presentation of the international food ingredient market and the opportunities available by Ms Tatiana Rozema, a top executive of UBM – Fi Global, the agency organising Food Ingredient fairs in 15 countries around the globe.
The market of foodstuffs with religious certification is a rapidly growing market that is expected to exceed 2 trillion USD over the coming years. Already, 16% of the global food sector concerns foodstuffs with religious certification, while the growth rate of this sector has remained high for almost a decade.
Internationally, the axis of the halal food market rotates around the countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), as well as South and Southeast Asia, with projected data noting that this market will expand to 1.6 trillion USD by 2018, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.9%.
From this data, it is clear that Greek food enterprises must proceed with the certification of their products so that they can be granted the 'passport' that will allow them to enter countries with Muslim or Jewish populations and networks that only sell certified products.
During the second part of the colloquium, Halal Certification Services GmbH, one of the top halal certification agencies in Europe, based in Switzerland and with offices in Europe and Dubai, will present the importance and requirements of halal certification. Additionally, HCS GmbH has extensive Greek experience, as it has already certified over twelve Greek foodstuff and food ingredient enterprises during the last months. An authorised Rabbi will then present the corresponding process for kosher foodstuffs addressed to Jewish populations.

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