If you are reading this, you have prob-
ably been mulling over the possibility
of entering the halal certified products
business. According to business trends,
halal is a $2.1 Trillion global market, with
North America’s share at US $20 mil-
lion annually for halal foods. With the
increasing complexity of ingredients and
extensive use of animal by-products, any
product destined for Muslim consumers
should be certified, whether the product
is consumed or applied topically. While
medicines and pharmaceutical products
which are used for health reasons need
not be certified, knowledgeable consum-
ers still tend to look for products that
are halal certified or atleast meet halal
guidelines. As an entreprenuer, halal
certification can be your key to the halal
market and you, most likely, want to
know how to make a successful foray.
Let us start at the very beginning.
WHAT DO HALAL CERTIFICATION
AGENCIES DO?
In a nutshell, halal certificatin agencies examine the lists
of ingredients used in products ranging from food to per-
sonal care items, to products used during the production
process to machinery. During the processing of halal
products, it is necessary to eliminate contamination
with non-halal ingredients. Agencies, such as IFANCA,
determine whether these processes and ingredients are
halal. If not halal, manufacturers are informed of suitable
halal substitutes. Only once those changes are made
does the agency proceed to label a product as halal
certified. When it comes to food production, if compa-
nies avoid haram or prohibited ingredients from these
sources, halal food production is very similar to regular
food production.
WHAT IS A HALAL CERTIFICATE?
Halal certificates are documents certifying that a product
meets Islamic dietary guidelines, confirming but not
limited to the following:
n
The product does not contain pork or its by-products,
alcohol, prohibited food ingredients of animal origin.
n
It has been prepared and manufactured on clean
equipment, in sanitary conditions.
n
Meat and poultry components are from animals
slaughtered according to Islamic Law.
WHO IS AUTHORIZED TO ISSUE HALAL CERTIFICATES?
Any individual Muslim, Islamic or non-Muslim organization/
agency can issue a halal certificate. When deciding on
a good halal certifying agency, entreprenuers must take
the time to learn which halal certifiers best meet their
needs. If your target is a specific country, it is better to
use a halal certification organization that is approved,
recognized, or acceptable in that country. If your market
area is broader or even global, then an organization with
international experience would better meet your needs.
Winter 2012
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HALAL CONSUMER
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