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Go Halal: Industry gaining good momentum
Abdul Basit / 4 September 2011
DUBAI — From farm to fork, Halal is simply the better meat and its major health and business benefits help growth in the market, according to industry specialists.
The worldwide Halal food industry is estimated to be over $650 billion, and this segment currently accounts for approximately 16 per cent of the global food market.
Speakers at a recent forum agreed that the immediate potentials for investors of Halal food market are in acquiring high net worth Halal food producers, slaughterhouses, ingredients production, Halal livestock, Halal raw meat and Halal industrial parks.
The forum was jointly organised by Al Islami Foods and CNBC Arabia. Industry experts who were invited to the forum include Al Islami Foods deputy chief executive officer Hamid Badawi, sales and marketing head Alaa Kamal of US-based Midamar Middle East and general manager Wahid Kandil of Canada-based Prairie Halal Foods Middle East.
“From a business point of view, Halal has some major health and business benefits. That is why the market is developing. Attractive growth numbers are grabbing attention of investors,” Badawi said on the fast growth of the market.
“A Global Halal Standard and Global Halal Certification,” Hamid asserted, “is key to resolve the sensitive issues faced by the industry, otherwise the market will remain fragmented and in regional hubs.”
Legislations for Halal certification vary from one Islamic school of thought, called Madhab in Arabic, to another. Each school of thought and country has its own legislations for Halal certification.
Malaysia is one of the key players in the global Halal sector, the others being Australia, Brazil, Thailand, Indonesia and Brunei, with China, France and Japan planning to enter soon. Currently, the market is in its natural evolution process.
However, regions and countries differ on Shariah rules of standards and certifications. At present, the Halal market is in the brain-storming phase of developing Common Halal Standard and Common Halal Certification that are acceptable to all four Madahib of Islamic world.
In recent developments, the Halal industry has diversified into Halal industrial parks and Halal marketing. The Halal park is the Halal supply chain and logistics, ports and shipping part of the industry. Halal parks are being developed in partnership with private sector as well as regional development authorities of Malaysia, the UK, the EU, Brazil and other OIC countries.
Later, these parks will be linked with regional and international Halal parks. Each park will be connected with local livestock farms, enterprise community and the local authorities.
These services Halal parks provide include strong support from the local government; developed infrastructure; vibrant business environment for local and foreign investors; educated and skilled workforce; accessibility to a wide range of Halal finance; Islamic banking and Takaful insurance facilities; availability of research and development facilities; institution of higher learning through strategic partnership; and Halal logistics links in land, sea and air.
Lately, SAMI, the world’s first Halal Food Index, was launched in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It is considered a significant development in the Halal industry. It translates a substantial investing platform being developed.
The Halal market includes food and ingredients, beverages, personal care items including cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, herbal products, Islamic fashion and leather products, tourism and hospitality products, auditing, security and warehousing, banking and insurance.
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