The Food Safety Authority is close to issuing a new national export standard covering halal meat processed for Muslim markets.
Most New Zealand meat plants process sheepmeat and beef to meet Islamic halal requirements.
But the trade has been disrupted in two of the biggest markets.
Halal beef exports to Malaysia have been restricted for several
years and Indonesia introduced new conditions this month after
shipments there were blocked for a short time earlier this year.
FSA market access director Tony Zohrab says the on-going Malaysian
difficulties influenced the decision to get the agency involved in the
halal certification process and development of an export standard.
To meet the new export standard, processors will have to have an approved halal programme.
Certifying bodies will also have to be approved by the FSA, its
Islamic advisory council and the Islamic authorities of importing
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand