German Lubricating Grease Ensures Safety in Halal Food Production | Salaam Footbridge

Muslim food expenditure is expected to reach $1.38 trillion by 2024. Providing halal food requires a complex supply chain, including unexpected substances like lubricating grease.

Founded in Germany in 1882, Rhenus Lub produces lubricants for aerospace, medical, steel and other heavy industries and internationally operating food producers.

In 2005, the family business built a new factory for 16 million euros ($18 million). Recognizing the growing trend towards halal food consumption, the company has expanded to include an area dedicated exclusively to the production of halal-compliant lubricating greases and continuously trains its 270 employees in all things halal.

Isolated for maximum safety, the hall has separate material flow systems and pipelines connecting it to other production facilities. Post-processing of the lubricant, such as homogenization and packaging in buckets and drums for transport in the same place, excludes cross-contamination.

“Around 5% of our revenue comes from halal-certified products,” said Marco Pfeiffer, product manager and sales manager for fats at the Mönchengladbach-based company.

In 2021, Rhenus Lub achieved a turnover of 99.4 million euros ($111.7 million). Pfeiffer explains that Rhenus Lub operates two sales and distribution models. The company’s sales offices and selected international partners sell branded products, while the company operates a private label business where associates offer products under their brands.

Rhenus Lub has a strong presence in Europe and beyond, with Turkey and Indonesia being its main markets for Halal products.

“We are looking to strengthen our business partnerships in the Middle East given the untapped market potential there,” Pfeiffer told Salaam Gateway.

As a halal manager, Pfeiffer ensures that the company complies with the applicable regulations and takes care of the continuous halal training of the staff. He explained that the biggest challenge is finding suitable raw materials.

“Because it’s not enough that the fat ends up being halal compliant, it also has to have the technical performance,” Pfeiffer said.

Over the past few years, Rhenus Lub has invested in employee training and the creation of detailed Halal work instructions, including the cleaning of work equipment before it is used in the Halal field. Cleansing concerns not only chemical purification, but also ritual purification.

Pfeiffer said the various requirements had to meet the sophisticated management system, as the company believes demand is growing every year.

“Certification is always a certain challenge, because it is also the task of the auditors to highlight where there may still be a weak point,” he says, summarizing his experience as a halal manager.

Beyond auditing and certifying Rhenus Lub, certification company Halal Control, based in the German state of Hesse, handles some of the company’s training requirements.

“We qualify employees, mainly quality managers or quality managers, to carry out internal employee training in their companies in a competent and targeted manner,” Halal Control Managing Director Mahmoud Tatari told Salaam Gateway. .

The halal-certified finished lubricant (Courtesy of Rhenus Lub).

The training consists of an Islamic part covering the basics of halal and haram; critical points in the manufacture of halal products; halal standards and requirements for halal compliant processes and products.

“(It) improves the understanding of the halal subject; increases the safe use of halal in the company and provides general guidelines to successfully implement a halal management system,” said Tatari.

Rhenus Lub also conducts in-house online and face-to-face training, with the company coordinating content closely with Halal Control.

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