Halal board to boost export market, int’l standards for RP-processed foods

Cagayan de Oro City (27 August)
— Aware of the huge market potential of halal products here and
abroad, the Muslim Mindanao Halal Certifying Board, Inc. (MMHCBI) will
meet here on Thursday (August 28) with the Northern Mindanao Poultry
Growers’ Association on compliance with the Philippine Halal Standards
in food and non-products preparation.

Ustadz Esmael
Ebrahim, spokesperson for the MMHCBI, said the meeting will be held at
the Pearlmont Hotel, Limketkai Drive this city.

The MMHCBI, the
Philippines’ halal certifying body based in the Autonomous Region in
Muslim Mindanao, will conduct a briefing on the religious and technical
aspects of producing halal foods with representatives of prominent
industry trademarks in attendance. Expected to attend the food
certifying meet are members of the Mindanao Poultry Growers’
Association, particularly, San Miguel sister company Magnolia, Swift,
Bounty-Agro Ventures, Inc. Fresh and Vista de Rio Farms.

Food companies have
sought to enrich their technologies’ research and development for a
market expansion that has to have strict compliance with the Philippine
Halal Products Standards. By doing so, they are aiming for a fair share
in the global halal market, now worth $ 150 billion in international
food trade statistics.

Poultry production
is fast becoming an investment opportunity in ARMM the BIMP EAGA and
other parts of the country. Muslim countries, such as those of the
Middle East have high demands for Halal products, meaning those that
are processed in accordance with Islamic laws and tradition.

Being certified
halal products by the MMHCB (for both food non food products like
cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, etc.) will mean such products are good for
Muslims and non-Muslims alike, because ‘halal certification’ means
international health standards are complied with. These standards are:
HACCP (hazard analysis critical control for products); GMP (good
manufacturing practices (both prerequisite BFAD certification) and ISO
(International Standardization Organization)

The MMHCBI, which
crafted the Philippine Halal Products Standards, is composed of five
muftis (Guardians of House of Opinion) of the ARMM provinces and food
technologists, chemists, nutritionists and scientists of
widely-recognized erudition in their fields of expertise on both the
Islamic Sharia law and food science.

Local Governance
Support Program in the ARMM (LGSPA) has aided the MMHCBI in numerous
areas of capacity-building and institutional linkages, resulting among
others to the crafting of the Philippine Halal Standards and its
acceptance by Muslim religious authorities and food experts here and
abroad. LGSPA is the capacity-building program of the Canadian
International Development Agency (CIDA).

The MMHCB has also
had the recognition of its equally reputable counterparts in Malaysia
and Thailand with which it had entered into memorandums of
understanding and agreements for a continuing working cooperation.

Ebrahim said the
August 28 meeting, convened here by the Mindanao Economic Development
Council (MEDCo), will also be attended by officials and representatives
of the Department of Trade and Industry in the ARMM, the Department of
Agriculture and Food in ARMM; the ARMM Regional Board of Investment,
and national officials of the Department of Agriculture, the National
Coordinator for Philippine Halal Industry Development and MEDCo

In efforts at
gaining for the country a share from the huge global market for halal,
the meeting has been organized by the Department of Agriculture in
Region 10, through DA Region 12 Assist. Director Ismael Mustapfa, the
government’s national coordinator for its Halal Industry Development