Halal meat processing plant slated for Miyazaki Pref.

An artist’s rendering of the completed meat-processing plant

A halal-certified meat processing plant is to be constructed in Saito, Miyazaki Prefecture, with the aim of expanding exports of the prefecture’s beef to Muslims around the world.

Yonezo Arita, a local cattle producer and processor, and three others formed a company named Scrum Export Meat Miyazaki Co. that is expected to being operating the plant in spring 2024.

Well-known Miyazaki meat company Miyachiku is an investor in the new venture.

The processing plant, which will create products meet halal standards in accordance with Islamic precepts, will have a total floor space of about 4,500 square meters. Accepting cattle from ranches both inside and out of the prefecture, the company foresees a processing capacity of 50 cattle per day, or 12,000 per year.

The project is slated to cost about ¥4.37 billion, part of which will be subsidized through a government program to promote meat exports. Construction is scheduled to start in November.

According to Scrum Export, in order to receive halal certification, plants must meet certain strict requirements, such as being located at least five kilometers from pig farms.

The Miyazaki prefectural government said there are already eight such slaughterhouses in Japan, including in Hokkaido and Hyogo and Kumamoto prefectures.

Exports of Miyazaki beef to overseas markets are on the rise, reaching a record high of about ¥6.9 billion in fiscal 2021 — up 40% from the previous year. The main export destinations are the United States, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Scrum Export is aiming for markets in such Islamic countries as Indonesia, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.

“It is said that followers of Islam make up about one-fourth of the world’s population,” said Arita, who is serving as the company president.

“Constructing the plant now gives us a competitive advantage [in promoting exports]. We hope to help stabilize the operations of livestock farmers being hit hard by the novel coronavirus pandemic and soaring oil prices due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”