Home Articles How is Halal Certification Shaping International Food Standards 

How is Halal Certification Shaping International Food Standards 

Learn how halal certification is influencing international food standards, its global impact, benefits for producers, and where to get halal certification from.
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With a market of over 1.9 billion people, halal food is already a major segment of the global food industry.

The Muslim population is expected to surpass 2.2 billion in 2030, amounting for almost 27% of the global population.

For all of these Muslims, Halal certification is and will continue to be a key factor in determining which food products they can and cannot consume.

What is halal certification?

Halal certification is a guarantee that a product or service is in compliance with the Islamic dietary and consumption laws.

What are Halal Food Standards?

Halal food standards are the guidelines and criteria that determine whether a food is permissible or forbidden according to Islamic law. These standards cover various aspects of food production, processing, handling, storage, and distribution. They also aim to ensure that the food is safe and not harmful to human health or the environment.

Halal food standards may vary slightly depending on the school of thought (madhhab) or the certification body that issues the halal certificate. However, there are some basic principles that most Muslims agree on and that are derived from the Quran and the Sunnah.

Here are three halal food standards that are universally agreed upon:

  • One of the most important halal food standards is the prohibition of pork and its derivatives, as well as any animal that dies without being properly slaughtered.
  • Secondly, the slaughtering process of the halal animals must be done by a Muslim who invokes the name of Allah (tasmiya) and cuts the throat of the animal with a sharp knife (zabiha). The blood must be drained completely from the carcass, as blood is considered impure (najs) in Islam.
  • Another important halal food standard includes avoiding any intoxicants (such as alcohol), any ingredients or additives derived from haram sources (such as gelatin or enzymes from pigs), any cross-contamination with haram substances or utensils, and any unethical or cruel practices in animal farming or handling.

Who develops halal standards?

One of the initiatives to harmonize halal food standards globally is the OIC-SMIIC Halal Standards, which are developed by the Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries (SMIIC), a subsidiary organ of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

The OIC-SMIIC Halal Standards cover general requirements, terms and definitions and guidelines for the halal certification bodies. The OIC-SMIIC also aims to facilitate trade and cooperation among Muslim countries and between Muslim countries and other countries.

Global Impact of Halal Food Standards

Halal food standards have a significant impact on the global food industry and market. The global halal market was valued at $2 trillion in 2019, with $1.4 trillion coming from the food sector.

Halal certification has enhanced trade potential between countries, especially in the food sector. This has resulted in countries such as Brazil, Australia, India, China, and many others being among the top exporters of halal products to Muslim-majority countries.

Moreover, halal certification has also had a positive impact on social and environmental aspects, as it promotes ethical values such as animal welfare and environmental sustainability. Some of the key sustainable practices propelled by halal food standards are:

  • Encouraging sustainable farming practices
  • Promoting environmental protection by reducing waste and carbon footprint
  • Enhancing and encouraging animal welfare

What is driving the global demand for halal?

The demand for halal food is driven by several factors, such as:

  • The growing Muslim population and increasing awareness and preference for halal food.
  • The rising disposable income and purchasing power of Muslim consumers, especially in emerging markets in the Middle-East, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.
  • The rise and development of halal certification bodies

Benefits of Halal Certification for Food Producers

Some of the benefits of halal certification for food producers are:

  • Accessing new markets and customers in Muslim-majority countries as well as in countries with significant Muslim minorities or tourists.
  • Increasing customer loyalty and satisfaction by meeting halal needs and expectations.
  • Gaining competitive advantage and differentiation by offering value-added products to the Muslim market.

Future of the Halal Food Industry

The future of the halal food industry looks bright and promising as more opportunities emerge for innovation, growth, and collaboration. Some of the key trends and developments that will shape the future of the halal food industry are:

  • The emergence of new halal products and categories, such as organic foods, vegan foods, plant-based meats, and alternative proteins.
  • The adoption of new technologies and solutions, such as blockchain and artificial intelligence, that can be integrated with halal food systems with ease.
  • The integration of halal principles and values into the circular economy and the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

As the Halal food industry continues to grow, halal certification will play an increasingly important role in shaping international food standards.

Where to get halal certification?

Halal certification can be acquired from an independent third party organization. The American Halal Foundation (AHF) specializes in providing comprehensive Halal certification services for food producers, manufacturers, and service providers.

With offices in the United States, Canada, China, and India, we at AHF are well-positioned to offer its services on a global scale, catering to a diverse range of businesses.

We can provide you with the following services:

  • Halal auditing and inspection
  • Halal testing and analysis
  • Halal training and consultancy
  • Halal certification and accreditation

Contact Us

Contact us now to learn more about our halal certification services and how we can help you grow your food business in the halal market.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

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