Here's a roundup of key developments across the halal industry ecosystem during the month of October
Editor's note: It's all about context. A sports tournament unspooled across 23 days is decently long, while issuance of a halal certificate is just over three weeks is unbelievably short, not to mention an extraordinary feat.
A harbinger in the halal industry space, Malaysia has taken up the pursuit for a truncated halal certification issuance process, whilst it also announced plans to train graduates across the halal industry space.
Meanwhile, Philippines' Manila Doctors Hospital becomes the country's first halal-certified healthcare facility, alongside the country's broader aspiration to launch its national halal strategy.
Halal certification to be given within 23 working days
The Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) and Halal Development Corporation (HDC) are collaborating to expedite halal certification issuance within 23 working days.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who also chairs the Malaysian Halal Council, initiated this proactive measure to address complaints about slow halal certification processes, with some individuals waiting up to nine months to two years. (New Straits Times)
Malaysia to upgrade halal certification lab
In an effort to bolster Malaysia's halal industry, Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has announced plans to train experts, particularly among technical and vocational education and training (TVET) individuals.
This initiative aims to support the halal industry, which currently offers over 25,000 job opportunities in the country. (IQNA)
Muslim community at Brown reflects on new halal eating station in Sharpe Refectory
Brown University's Sharpe Refectory has introduced a new halal eating station as part of its ongoing efforts to enhance dietary options for students. The station opened on September 20, alongside the unveiling of new kosher and allergen-aware kitchens at the Ratty dining facility.
This initiative aims to provide more accessible dining choices for students with dietary restrictions without requiring them to enroll in specific dining programs beyond their standard meal plans. (Brown Daily Herald)
Manila Doctors Hospital becomes halal-certified
Manila Doctors Hospital (MDH) has made history as the first healthcare facility in the Philippines to be granted halal certification by the Islamic Da'wah Council of the Philippines (IDCP).
The certification reflects MDH's commitment to offer halal meals in accordance with Islamic law to its hospital staff and patients. (The Manila Times)
Shukran Korea targets Middle East with AI-powered halal assurance solution
Korean startup Shukran Korea Inc. has introduced a groundbreaking solution that bridges the gap between Middle East and South Korea by providing halal and allergenic safety indices for Korean cosmetics and food products.
This innovative platform enables consumers to make informed choices about the products they use, offering verification of their halal compliance. (Korea Tech Desk)
Halal restaurant Bitez coming soon to Village Center at Dulles
Bitez, a restaurant specializing in gyros and crepes, is expected to open a new location in the Village Center at Dulles in McNair.
According to the property owner's website, the business will occupy the space at 2443 Centreville Road, which was previously home to Tava Fry. (FFX Now)
Over 27 Saudi companies seek to open new export networks in European markets
Saudi Exports is joining Anuga 2023, the International Food Industry Trade Fair, with more than 27 companies looking to expand their export presence in European markets. The "Made in Saudi" pavilion showcases top national food sector companies.
The objective is to bolster economic cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Germany, utilizing Anuga as a platform to promote Saudi products and services and boost their global market share to contribute to non-oil GDP. (Halal Focus)
Filipino Muslim affairs agency sets out to develop halal agro-industry in Philippines
Muslim authority in the Philippines, where Muslims account for over 6% of the population, plan to establish halal agro-industrial hubs across the country.
The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) aims to support Manila's presence in the global halal market and generate jobs for Filipinos, both Muslims and Christians.
These hubs, to be spread across 17 regions, will produce halal food and non-food items for local consumption and exportation. (Arab News)
Philippines to launch national halal strategy
The Philippines is set to launch a national Halal strategy aiming to attract 230 billion pesos in investments, create 120,000 jobs within five years, and integrate MSMEs into the global halal ecosystem by year-end.
This strategic initiative follows President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.'s pitch to international investors at the World Economic Forum in Davos, positioning the Philippines as a gateway to the Asia-Pacific region. (Zawya)
Saudi Arabia / Singapore
Saudi Arabia, Singapore sign deal on mutual recognition of halal certificates, product quality assurance
The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) has entered a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura) to explore cooperation opportunities in ensuring the quality of halal products.
The MoU aims to establish procedures for conformity assessment, standard specifications, and technical regulations for issuing halal certificates. (Zawya)
Indonesia preparing strategy to improve halal pharmaceutical ranking
The Indonesian Government is devising a strategy to address the decline in its global ranking among prominent producers of halal pharmaceutical products, according to Minister of Industry Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita.
Indonesia's rank fell from sixth to ninth in the halal pharmaceutical sector in 2022, as per The State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2022.
Minister Kartasasmita emphasized the need to identify which countries surpassed Indonesia in the pharmaceutical sector and analyze how they achieved it. (Antara News)
Indonesia, Mexico in talks for Mutual Halal Certificate Recognition
Indonesia, with 87 percent of its population being Muslim, is set to mandate halal certification for all products entering its market by October 2024.
The Indonesian Halal Product Assurance Agency (BPJPH) has been engaged in discussions with Mexico regarding a potential mutual recognition agreement for halal certificates. If such an agreement is reached, Jakarta would accept halal certificates issued by Mexican certifiers. (Jakarta Globe)
DTI inks deal for lending to MSMEs in halal sector
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has partnered with DK P.O. Fulfillment Co. Inc. (DKPO) to provide non-interest-based financing opportunities to micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) operating in Philippines' halal industry.
The DTI, represented by Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual, and DKPO, represented by President and CEO Antonio JP Intal, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on October 16. (Business Mirror)
219 facilities granted halal certification
Saudi Arabia's health sector transformation program, a part of Vision 2030, has awarded halal certificates to over 219 facilities. The announcement was made during the unveiling of data from the "Halal" Center, an initiative under the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA).
With more than 62 bodies granting halal certification and 13 initiatives to bolster Saudi Arabia's position in the halal economy, the Saudi Halal Center plays a crucial role in ensuring that products, including food, medicines, and cosmetics, comply with Islamic law. (Saudi Gazette)
Saudi International Halal Expo & Summit 2023 – Riyadh, KSA – Nov 19-21, 2023
World Halal Summit 2023 – Istanbul, Turkiye – Nov 23-25, 2023
Halal Expo London 2023 – London, UK – Dec 1-2, 2023
Halal Indonesia Expo 2023 – Indonesia – Dec 8-10, 2023
Food Africa Cairo – Egypt – Dec 12-14, 2023
14th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) – UAE – Jan 15-17, 2024
Gulfood 2024 – UAE – Feb 19-23, 2024
Halal Expo Canada 2024 – Canada – May 8-9, 2024