If you thought halal refers to only food, think again.
The term, meaning what is permissible under Islamic law, covers virtually any object or even behaviour under Islamic shariah. And businesses have now woken up to the importance of getting their services or products halal in order to make inroads into countries with large Muslim populations.
From hospitality industry to hospitals, from cosmetic manufacturing companies to pharmaceuticals, and even tourist operators are seeking third party halal certification from the designated authority, a trend that began in India recently to endorse food, cosmetics, drugs, products and logistical, tourism and medical services as halal.
“Halal is a global brand name in the world, it has a turnover of 2.3 trillion US dollars in global market. Halal is not for Muslims only, it is for entire mankind, halal means wholesome and hygienic food which is good for health,” said SD Abdul Vaseem, Manager – Accounts & Finance, Halal India, an independent certification body registered with the Government of India.
Halal certification is enabling manufacturers and exporters to get greater share of the global market, Vaseem added.
Awareness about halal certification has seen many certification firms and organisations coming up. These include the Halal International Council, International Halal Integrity Alliance, Halal International Authority, Halal Certification Authority International, although many like the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA) has existed for more than three decades.
The SAARC countries have set up a SAARC Halal Council, and Over 350 companies in India are certified and among them are Carrefour, the French retail giant, which has already entered the Indian market through its wholesale cash and carry (WC&C), Nirma House, Haldiram Namkeens and Sweets, Goldwinner oil, Fortune Oil, Bacfo Pharmaceuticals, Ambuja Group, Daawat Basmati Rice, Vadilal Icecreams, Fortune Oil, Amrutanjan Balm, PalitaNasiKandar Intl (P) Limited (Malaysian chain of Restaurants).
The medical industry is not far behind they too are opting for Halal certification to woo patients from the Middle East countries. Global Hospital, V-care hospital, Chennai, Dhatri hospital (Ayurvedic hospital, Kerala) are certified for Halal friendly Medical Tourism.
The certification is valid for a year and they are reviewed twice a year and renewal thereafter is done by the certification authority.
Ten schemes for Halal Certification
There are 10 schemes for halal certification that are derived and adopted from Malaysian halal standards. The schemes are whole plant scheme, product scheme, endorsement scheme, abattoir scheme, eating establishment scheme, food preparation area scheme, storage facility scheme, halal testing lab scheme, halal-friendly tourism and halal medical-friendly tourism.The above adhere to a rigorous certification procedure. The procedures will start from enquiri