KARACHI: The government will launch a halal food accreditation programme from January in a bid to boost local sales and export of food products in the domestic and international markets.
The decision came following the go-ahead from a committee which met here on Tuesday. The first meeting of the committee, chaired by Pakistan National Accreditation Council (PNAC) Director General Anjum Bashir, was attended by religious scholars, representatives of chambers of commerce and other private sector stakeholders.
Briefing the meeting, Anjum Bashir said in first phase of the Halal food accreditation programme, only food business would be certified.
“The $4 trillion international Halal market is growing fast with more consumer awareness not only of food sector, but also of non-food products, like pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, healthcare, toiletries and other non-consumable items,” he said.
“Pakistan being an Islamic country should benefit from this opportunity and once the chain of recognised and certified goods and services starts, it will help domestic sales and exports.”
Usually, seven members are selected for any sector-specific committee, but in view of the importance of Halal sector, a cross-section of people was invited to deliberate on the two documents prepared by PNAC. The documents need to be adopted to enable PNAC to move forward to launch the Halal accreditation scheme.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 21st, 2011.