- 1 Introduction
- 2 International Recognition, Accreditation, and Acceptance
- 3 Halal Standards
- 4 Client Service
- 5 Conclusion
- 6 Get in Touch
- 7 Featured Insights
- 8 Get in Touch
Choosing the right vendors and partners to work with to achieve your organization’s mission and goals is critical. The right partner can help you operate effectively, improve efficiencies, build trust in your brand, grow your business, and more. The wrong partner can cause significant damage to your brand and company and create net losses in your investment of time and resources.
Halal is no exception. Companies often ask the American Halal Foundation (AHF) questions such as “What is the difference between one halal agency and another?” “Are there unique advantages to choosing AHF?” and “How does AHF certification compare to other certification organizations’?”. Essentially, they are looking for some heuristic to discern better which halal certification organization they should partner with.
So how do you select the right halal certification agency (particularly in the US)? In this AHF insight, we will cover the three principal factors you should use in deciding.
International Recognition, Accreditation, and Acceptance
The first heuristic to use, especially in countries with no federal halal authority, is to see if the certifier holds some form of international accreditation or recognition. International accreditation from leading authorities, such as JAKIM, MUI, MUIS, etc., or World Halal Food Council membership indicates that the certifier is a credible authority in halal certification and is competent to conduct halal certification. This is particularly helpful in terms of US Halal Certification.
Why is this important?
Whether you export your product or not, working with an accredited certification authority ensures acceptance of your product, especially on a B2B level. That is because accredited authorities, like AHF, generally only accept certificates from other accredited certifying organizations. So, for example, assume you produce natural flavor and intend to sell it to an ice cream manufacturer. Likely, the ice cream manufacturer will have their own halal certification. If an accredited authority provides that ice cream certification, they will only accept your certificate if you have received it from an accredited or otherwise trusted authority. If you choose a local community-based organization that is not recognized, your certification may be rejected. The most simple way to ensure broad acceptance is to ensure the organization is a World Halal Food Council member.
You can learn more about AHF’s international accreditations and recognitions here: International Halal Accreditation & Recognition.
Halal does not have varying standards in that there are degrees to how “halal” something is. Generally, something is either halal or haram (opposite of halal, which means prohibited). That said, there are some differences of opinion (based on theological schools of thought) between what is considered halal or not. Thus, when looking at labels, some consumers may have further questions about whether the product is genuinely halal according to their schools of thought.
Why is this important?
It is essential to align your organization with a certifier recognized for having widely accepted halal standards (which generally means a bit stricter standards). This leaves no confusion at the consumer level about whether or not your product is genuinely halal. This gives your brand a greater credibility boost and increases consumer trust, which should ultimately enable growth for your organization.
To this end, AHF certification standards are universally accepted by all 2 billion halal consumers.
It is common wisdom that the level of service you experience with a vendor greatly impacts the level of success in your working relationship. Halal is no exception. Pay close attention to everything from response times, whether your expectations are being met, if the person is knowledgeable about how best to serve your business needs, and if the certifier is responsive to any unique requests your business may have.
Why is this important?
The relationship between yourself and your halal certification partner agency should be built to last decades. It is difficult to build such a relationship without excellent service on the part of the certifier. A common complaint we hear is that other halal certification organizations, while responsive initially, do not respond to recertification or adding new products. This can hamper your business efficiency and your own client service to your customers.
In this regard, AHF invests significantly to ensure the “Time To Certification (TTC)” is as low as possible and all our processes are as integrative as possible. Additionally, every client has an account executive who is there for them at any time to answer any questions or requests they may have.
In conclusion, it is extremely important to be discerning when choosing a halal certification authority to partner with. The benefits of halal certification are numerous, but you can only capitalize on them by selecting the right halal certification partner. This AHF Insight delves into the three major decision-making criteria:
- International Recognition: The certifier must be recognized by other certifiers and stakeholders for your certification to be valid.
- Standards: Selecting a halal certification partner with widely accepted standards is essential to building trust in the marketplace.
- Client Service: An excellent service relationship with your certifier is essential to building a successful long-term relationship.
To learn more about what makes AHF certification uniquely valuable, read more here: What Makes AHF Halal Certification Uniquely Valuable?
We’d love to hear from you if you are interested in halal certification. Get in touch with us by submitting the contact form below.