Universal standard sought for Halal food

DUBAI — A universally accepted standard should be adopted to clear misconceptions about Halal food, experts stressed during the Halal Food Conference held in Dubai yesterday.

By Joy Sengupta

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Published: Thu 22 Feb 2007, 8:26 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 2:34 AM

They said there are several companies who sell Halal food even though their products do not meet global standards. “The Halal market is growing rapidly. After South-East Asia, people in the US and Europe too have started asking for Halal food. But then people are mostly getting the wrong products. So we are striving for one universally agreed certified standard. The conditions would improve only then. Muslims in the US are spending $16 billion a year on normal products as Halal food is not available,” said Hajj Abdalhamid Evans, Director of the International Halal Industry Alliance.

Malaysia will help the UAE in adopting global standards and disseminating information about Halal food, Dato’ Jamil Bidin, CEO of the Halal Industry Development Corporation, Malaysia, told Khaleej Times on the sidelines of the conference.

The Halal food market in Malaysia is among the biggest in the world and the Malaysian Standard (NS-1500) has been recognised by the United Nations.

Bidin said talks will soon be held with UAE officials regarding Malaysia training the authorities concerned in adopting the correct standards. “The UAE imports a lot of foodstuff from around the world. We would be happy to train officials. The country needs to know more about Halal food.”

Misconceptions

“People have a lot of misconceptions about Halal food and these need to be cleared. There are several people who are fooling consumers by selling food which they claim to be Halal. It is high time that the world adopts a universal global standard when it comes to Halal food. All other standards should be kept aside. We want the UAE as well as other countries to have a better knowledge of Halal,” he added.

Saleh Lootah, CEO of Al Islami Foods, dealing in high quality Halal food products in the UAE, said, “People need to know that Halal food is more nutritious than the other types. And we are ready to cooperate with Malaysia in providing expertise to the country.”

Malaysian officials said there had been some talks with the UAE on promoting Halal food. “Two private companies of Malaysia have come together to set up the first wholesale Halal food centre in the Middle East in Damascus. It has been named the International Halal Centre. Talks are on for more such Halal centres in various parts of the Middle East,” said an official.



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