The "halal standard" of what is suitable for consumption in Islamic terms was introduced by the Malaysian government in 2004 and has spread around the world since then.
The interest of even non-Muslim countries has increased as the value of halal products has surged to $2.1 trillion. Turkey has yet to take a concrete step in getting a share of the pie, but the Turkish Standards Institute (TSE) has prepared a draft for "halal standards," although it has been delayed for two years in order to defuse controversy. As a result, Turkish food exports are being impeded
Although non-Muslim countries such as Germany, France and Belgium issue "halal" certification, there is no such process in Turkey and this causes difficulties for some producers and restricts the competitiveness of Turkish companies in global markets. Firms which understood that it was impossible to sell products to some countries without a halal certificate, began to obtain a certificate from an accredited body in a foreign country. The Under Secretariat for Foreign Trade advised Turkish companies not to lose out in halal markets and It has taken action on the issue in an effort to boost competitiveness. The under secretariat circulated a letter to the Exporters' Unions about the halal markets, and last week began to provide advices.
The halal standard is also used for pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, medical equipment and a variety of health care products. Producers are eager for halal certification to be introduced in Turkey, and the under secretariat underlines the importance of the halal standard and warns in its letter that Muslim consumers may think that products exported without certification are not halal.
The letter notes that the number of potential halal food consumers is 1.6 billion, "Foreign companies get halal certification and access the Turkish market with those labels; this attracts consumers in Turkey of whom the great majority are Muslim. These firms get a competitive advantage even in domestic markets. It is a great necessity for Turkish-based producers, who cannot now but may in the very near future, sell their products with halal labeling. Some firms have already started to get certificates from foreign accredited institutions."
The TSE also wants the letter to mark the beginning of a settlement of halal standards. The possible controversies are emphasized in the circular which said: "The halal standard will be settled according to Islamic rules that may cause the issue to be debated on a more political than commercial basis as Turkey is a constitutionally secular country. It may spark debate amongst producers which produce halal and non-halal foods concurrently." The Undersecretariat for Foreign Trade advised that standards can be verified by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), which operates as an accredited body in halal standards. "Anxieties on the reliability of the certification will be reduced to a minimum and will terminate the differing practices," said the letter.
Halal food market hits $2.1 trillion
The standard known as "MS 1500:2004" determines standards for not just food but also restaurants, packaging, transport and labeling to Islamic norms. It also lays out standards for such services as logistics, travel and hotels in addition to pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, medical equipment and other health care products. The estimated value of halal sales is $2.1 trillion, and many producers in Muslim and non-Muslim countries obtain halal certification for their 1.6 billion consumers.
The Malaysian Islamic Development Department (JAKIM) accredits halal certification institutions in the US, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, China, Denmark; the Philippines; Indonesia; Germany; India; Japan; Holland; New Zealand, Pakistan, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Uruguay, Vietnam and Brunei Darusalam. The general halal standards were determined by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (operating under the UN and WHO) in 1997, with ratings similar to those determined by Malaysia.
Last Mod: 13 Ağustos 2007, 23:16