Dubai prepares to be home to world’s first global halal standard

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock
© iStock

Related tags: Halal

The UAE is poised to unveil the world’s first international halal certification network as the Dubai-based International Halal Accreditation Forum drafts a set of bylaws that should come into operation later this year.

The bylaws will be discussed by a general assembly of IHAF in November. Following their expected approval, the 10-member body will expand its multilateral agreements with major food exporting countries.

An independent, non-government network of accreditation agencies mandated to enforce halal standards in their own countries, IHAF’s founding members include Dubai Municipality, the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation and various other GCC and international certification bodies.

"The rate of growth witnessed in the halal market shows that by 2030 it can be the biggest industry in the world​," said Mohamed Saleh Badri, secretary general of IHAF.

"However, although halal standards and processes are based on the universal principles and teachings of Islam, the halal industry is yet to use one universal set of determinants and one all-encompassing mark​.”

With more than 100 halal marks currently in use across the world, IHAF’s mission is to unify halal criteria and practices, and generate a global agreement among international certification bodies. 

For a food market expected to be worth US$2.6tr by 2020, the accreditation process would “ease the flow of halal goods between countries and create a halal market consumers can trust​," Badri added.

The halal sector across the world faces structural and operational challenges over regulation, standardisation, compliance, supply chain integrity, innovations, research and development, consumer education and awareness, said Badri.

"Despite the challenges, the growth rate of halal products and services has been significantly high.

"It is high time that a committed global effort among governments and all halal stakeholders be done. It is about time that we establish innovative, reliable compliance schemes that are acceptable to one and all," he added.

Related topics: Policy, Middle East, Supply chain

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