Home Articles Halal & Organic Certification: A Comparative Analysis
Halal & Organic Certification: A Comparative Analysis
Explore the twin engines, Halal & Organic Certification, in a comparative analysis, uncovering shared values and unique differences shaping the global food market.

Halal & Organic Certification: A Comparative Analysis


Although halal is larger than the global organic market by 17 times, many US companies and quality and regulatory professionals are more familiar with organic standards than halal. In the case of both certifications, companies seek certification to align their brand with the values of their consumers. The ingredients and production processes are evaluated by certifying authorities to meet specific standards. Ultimately, the certification instills confidence in consumers and encourages them to develop brand affinity, which in turn leads to business growth and creates a competitive advantage.

This AHF insight seeks to conduct a comparative analysis between both certifications from both a technical standards and market standpoint.

Halal Certification


Halal certification is an independent verification that a given product meets the dietary guidelines per Islamic laws. The certification includes thoroughly analyzing each ingredient and production process to ensure compliance with international halal standards. Halal certification is conducted by trusted certification authorities like the American Halal Foundation, who, upon completion of the certification process, provide companies with a halal symbol and a right to claim certification of their products.

The Halal Market

Halal standards are a set of dietary guidelines for 2 billion halal consumers globally. The Halal Food and Beverage market is estimated at a staggering $1.7 Trillion globally and is growing rapidly. With significant percentages of the consumer base situated in growing GDP countries with growing populations and rising middle classes, the halal market is the largest frontier that remains largely untapped.

AHF Halal Certification

Halal certification and specifically AHF halal certification, allows companies to inform 2 billion global consumers that a given product or ingredient is lawful to consume. This is hugely important as halal compliance is the number one factor in influencing Muslim consumers’ purchasing behavior. It is a core defining tenant of the Islamic faith and sets the parameters for moral and ethical consumption guidelines.

AHF halal certification spans numerous industries, from Pharmaceuticals to Cosmetics.

The core tenants of AHF Halal Certification:

  1. 1.Ingredient Suitability:
    1. Everything is Halal except ABCD IS haram (unlawful)
      1. Alcohol
      2. Blood
      3. Carnivorous Animals
      4. Dead Animals (animals not slaughtered per halal principles)
      5. Intoxicants
      6. Swine and its derivatives
  2. Prevention of Contamination (Production Process Integrity)
    1. Halal products must be produced with complete integrity of the process from the beginning till the end. No level of contamination is acceptable with any product that is haram and, therefore najis (impure). There is a distinction between haram and non-halal certified, however. You can read more about this here: Halal Certification Requirements – American Halal Foundation
  3. Animal Welfare:
    1. Animal welfare is a crucial ethical and moral imperative of halal. Animal abuse is strictly prohibited, and all harvesting must be done in a manner that minimizes the pain of the animal.

For a more in-depth understanding of halal certification, refer to the AHF Inisght Why Halal Certify? A Primer on Halal Certification – AHF

Organic Certification


Organic certification is an independent verification that a given product (generally a consumable food or beverage product) has been produced with 95% organic materials in accordance with standards set by the United States Department of Agriculture. The standards came to life in 2000 under the auspices of the then newly-initiated National Organic Program. The intent of the certification is to allow companies to market their products as made with organic materials verifiably. The USDA initially created this program to market the products’ organic sourcing and environmentally sound practices rather than to market them as healthier or safer. Despite the health aspect not being a focus, there is evidence to show that there may be health and safety benefits. To this end, AHF encourages companies to achieve organic certification (more on this later).
There are a few core tenants of Organic certification:

  1. Environmental Protection:
    1. Organic farmers and producers are limited in terms of the utilization of synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, and fungicides.
    2. The standards focus on improving biodiversity, fertility, and soil quality.
    3. The standards also focus on other environmental protection measures that limit environmental harm.
  2. Animal Welfare:
    1. Animals intended to be harvested and marketed as Organic must be raised humanely, avoid antibiotics and hormones, and eat an organic diet.
  3. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs):
    1. Organic has a strict non-GMO policy that prohibits the utilization of GMOs in commercial production.
  4. Synthetic Raw Materials
    1. Organic products must be free from synthetic materials such as artificial flavorings, chemical additives, or synthetic processing aids.
  5. Prevention of Contamination (Production Process Integrity)
    Organic products must be produced without contaminating other non-organic materials and products. This generally includes thorough sanitation of equipment and strict segregation in staging, packing, and warehousing.

The Organic Market

The global market for organic products is about $106 Billion. The market is growing as there is increasing demand for more environmentally friendly products that are better for consumers health and wellness. More than eighty percent of the organic market is concentrated in the United States and Europe, and global penetration and awareness are increasing. It is also a competitive segment where nearly every product category has established organic brands. There are challenges for brands to achieve organic certification since there are significant cost and process implications.

A Comparative Analysis

As you can see above, there are a number of similarities. For the purposes of this article, we will separate the analysis into two parts certification and markets.



  1. Both place significant emphasis on production process integrity to avoid any contamination or cross-contamination that would potentially harm the integrity of the identity of the product.
  2. Both require certification authorities to conduct certification.
  3. Both require audits at some cadence.
  4. Both place significant emphasis on animal welfare.


  1. The most marked difference is in the ingredient qualification criteria.
  2. Organic has several farming-related requirements that are not required in halal
  3. The halal certification process is more linear due to fewer areas of non-conformance.
  4. Halal certification standards have additional requirements in relation to organic when it comes to harvesting animals.
  5. Halal has a much broader certification scope from packaging materials to nutraceuticals.



  1. Organic and Halal markets are rapidly growing.
  2. Both certifications give companies a competitive edge and instill consumer confidence.
  3. Products can bear both halal and organic symbols (more on this below).
  4. Consumers often pay a premium for organic and halal products.


  1. The global Halal F&B market is 17x larger than the global organic market.
  2. Halal consumers are mandated to consume halal, and thus it is the #1 influence on their purchasing behavior.
  3. Halal has a much broader certification scope from packaging materials to nutraceuticals.
  4. Halal products appeal to all ends of the socioeconomic spectrum, whereas organic products generally appeal to the higher end due to complex production requirements.

Twin Engines: Organic and Halal (& Tayyib) and Why to Get Both

In the opinion of the American Halal Foundation, Halal and Organic are both valuable certifications that help a company differentiate itself from its competitors and instill confidence in its consumers which builds brand loyalty which ultimately helps a company grow.

Where possible, AHF recommends companies achieve both certifications. The reason for this is that there is a concept in halal called “Tayyib”. Tayyib means pure and is a highly desirable trait. Halal consumers are encouraged to consume Halal & Tayyib food and beverages. Organic products are considered more “Tayyib” in consumers’ eyes, thus further building trust and brand value.

Companies should achieve organic and halal certifications where possible to appeal to consumers’ spiritual and health, and wellness interests.

Companies that have achieved organic certification will find it easier and more linear to obtain halal certification and vice-versa.

If you are interested in obtaining halal certification, get in touch with a halal certification specialist.

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