Hannover. Deutsche Messe is launching HALAL HANNOVER, a new trade show for halal products, in March of next year. Running from 6 to 8 March, the show is all about food, beverages, cosmetics and travel in accordance with halal requirements. “We’ve undertaken a comprehensive market analysis, and it shows there is a market niche for an event like this,” explained Christoph Schöllhammer, Deutsche Messe’s director in charge of the new show. “Europe is home to over 30 million Muslims, which makes it one of the world’s most important markets for halal products,” he said. “Our objective in creating this new multi-faceted event comprising an expo, conference and special food-tasting area is to give the halal industry a platform for commercial and technical dialog in Germany.” HALAL HANNOVER will be open to trade visitors on all three days, and then also open to the general public on Saturday and Sunday.

German-based and international manufacturers, wholesalers and service providers – among them Çiftçi, Yörem, YAYLA, Baladna and Honeyletter Productions – will use the three-day show to present goods and services ranging from food and beverages to cosmetics and travel. There will also be a special counter where visitors will be able to try halal food and beverages.

In terms of target visitors, HALAL HANNOVER is aimed at wholesalers and retailers, supermarkets, food establishments (restaurants, fast-food outlets, snack bars, caterers), hotels, food-testing laboratories, manufacturers and distributors of cosmetic products, travel agents/operators and consumers.

Halal and haram

The term “halal” refers to things and actions which are “permissible” or “lawful” in Islam. So, for example, the consumption of foods such as the meat of fowls, cattle and sheep is halal – permissible – under Islamic dietary laws. The consumption of pork, improperly slaughtered animals, alcohol and drugs, on the other hand, is “haram”, or forbidden.

Halal also prescribes certain customs around the slaughter of animals for food, e.g. ritual slaughter without pre-stunning. In Germany, however, there is a blanket prohibition on ritual slaughter without pre-stunning, and there are no exceptions to this legal prohibition – not even for meat destined for export. Germany’s animal welfare laws require that every animal being slaughtered must first be stunned. This includes animals slaughtered in accordance with Islamic law.

There are various quality seals and standards for halal products on the market, although the term “halal” itself is not defined in EU law. The rules around what is permissible and what is forbidden are interpreted differently depending on Islamic denomination and school of thought.

Halal cosmetics – also popular with non-Muslims

Halal is about more than just food. For example, halal cosmetics must not contain alcohol or animal-derived or genetically modified ingredients. In addition, special hygiene and ethical requirements must be observed during the manufacturing processes, in order to ensure the purity of the finished cosmetic products. Many halal cosmetic brands have also completely eliminated animal testing from their processes. “Halal Beauty”, for example, is a high-end brand that is organic and vegan as well as halal, thanks to its strict controls on ingredients and manufacturing. Even big-name brands like Shiseido are now making halal cosmetics because of their growing popularity among non-Muslims as well as Muslims.

International congress

Besides exhibits and food-testing experiences, the new halal trade show will also offer a conference where international experts will discuss the political, economic and social dimensions of halal, including such topics as animal welfare and animal protection. The conference will also look at the certification of halal products and the production and marketing of halal foods. The conference also has an education and awareness brief, the aim being to help overcome misconceptions and preconceptions in the public arena.

Market for halal travel growing fast

Another key focus for the conference will be the rapidly growing halal travel market. According to the MasterCard-HalalTrip Muslim Millennial Travel Report (2017), the number of Muslim millennial travelers worldwide is likely to increase to just on 160 million by 2020. Needless to say, people who live their lives in accordance with Islamic precepts prefer not to do without halal products while overseas. The tourism industry worldwide is therefore responding to the burgeoning Muslim travel market with a range of halal-friendly products and services. This is certainly true of Germany, where a growing number of hotels, among them Berlin’s famous Adlon Kempinski, are catering to this new market segment.

Exhibition partners

Among the organizations that have already confirmed their support for HALAL HANNOVER are Symrise, the Hannover Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK Hannover), Niedersächsische Marketing Gesellschaft and the Arab-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Ghorfa). IIDC Halal Certification, Halal Certificate, HS Halal Certification Services (EU) will also be at the premiere, as will Halal Quality Control (HQC), the Islamic Council of Mannheim Institute for Halal Food Quality and various other certifying institutions.

“For over 20 years, Symrise AG has been supplying its global B2B clientele with halal-certified products. In collaboration with the Hannover Chamber of Industry & Commerce, we are contributing expertise in support of efforts to help German manufacturers implement quality-control systems so their products can receive halal-certified for distribution in Germany and abroad,” said Norbert Kahmann, Senior Strategic Kosher/Halal Office Global Regulatory Affairs at Symrise AG based in Holzminden, Germany, adding: “We very much welcome Deutsche Messe’s initiative in launching HALAL HANNOVER in March of 2020.”