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Halal certification opens new markets for UK cheese group

| 07/12/2007 | Reply

Halal certification opens new markets for UK cheese group

By Neil Merrett


06/12/2007-

European
Muslims could be about to develop the taste for regional cheeses like
red leicester, lancashire and even the humble cheddar following the
recent entry of UK-based processor Dewlay into the halal market.

Company
marketing director Ian Coggin told DairyReporter.com that obtaining
halal certification for its operations in October has allowed the
company to tap new markets for their goods, previously not permitted
for Muslim consumption.

The claims reflect the growing
opportunities for food and beverage manufacturers complying to
religious standards like halal and kosher, particularly for specialised
or regionally produced goods.

Halal is an Islamic term that
outlines permissible standards for the preparation and production of
goods consumed and used by Muslims, in a similar vein to kosher
products for Jews.

Dewlay itself, has been producing Kosher
cheeses, including cheddar, double gloucester and red leicester,
through its Chevington label for about twenty years.

Coggin
said this distinction had led to the company increasingly being asked
whether their cheeses could also be made available for the halal
market.  Upon further research into the market, the company found it
would be possible to make the further amendments

“The process was in part, an extension of the work we had done in obtaining our kosher certification,” he said.  “After liaising with the Halal Food Authority, we worked to amend our operations to comply with requirements.”

The Halal Food Authority is a UK-based non-profit organization that outlines permissible standards for manufacturers.

Coggin
said in order to fully meet requirements associated with halal
certification, amendments needed to be made throughout the company’s
entire production chain from the farm, up to materials used within
packaging.

Besides looking at what additives and sourcing the
company used for its products, the halal certification process also
required the group to remove alcohol-based sanitizer from it operations.

“Industrial alcohol is not permitted under halal standards,” Coggin added. “So that was one area we had to change.”

Even
adhesives, used to attach labels onto the cheese packaging, were
changed to meet the requirements outlined in Islam, with the presence
of gelatin having to be removed.

However, with these amendments
in place, Coggin added that the group was now able to supply its entire
range of cheese products to kosher and halal markets across the globe,
extending its focus beyond its core-UK operations.

Moves by the group to enter halal production could prove prudent.

With
more than 1.8bn Muslims globally, the total size of global halal food
and non-food (such as financial services, pharmaceuticals and
cosmetics) industries is estimated at €1.5 trillion with an expected
growth rate of 10 to 20 per cent each year.

Though the global
market for halal food has never been measured, industry estimates of
its value range from $150bn (€110bn) to $500bn (€368bn).

Category: Europe, Food Manufacturing

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