Pakistan: Going into the international halal food market

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan FlagThe Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) is ready to step up to foster the halal industry of Pakistan and capture international halal products market worth $3 trillion.

An inter-ministerial meeting will soon be convened to expedite the progress on halal food, and to make the industry compliant to international standards.

An official from the ministry pointed out the necessity of boosting standards in order to increase the exports of the country. “There is a strong need to develop standards and enact laws to advertise our halal products, it will boost our exports especially in the Middle East and Europe,” he said.

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According to him, Pakistan needs professionals in the field because increased consumer awareness regarding food safety standards contribute towards raising demand for halal, healthy and hygienic food.

“We possess all imperative elements for halal products’ production and have to streamline them to meet the demand of the market,” he added.

He said that the creation of the Punjab Halal Development Agency (PHDA) is a step forward and would help make Pakistan a hub by opening new avenues for entering the global market, while serving the domestic needs as well.

Demand for healthy and safe agro-livestock food products is increasing rapidly with the escalating population growth rate and socio-economic conditions.

This will also open up new economic opportunities and employment for the youth and traders.

The PHDA, being a leading entity of the government of Punjab, is established to prescribe standards and processes for halal certification of food and non-food sector, in line with research and advanced laboratory testing facilities.

Official said that MoST will promote the halal Industry of the country by maintaining international standards. Halal standards for livestock, beverages, by-products, cosmetics and other edibles will also be introduced, which will build trust on Pakistani products and enhance the export volume. 

Published in The Express Tribune, January 21st, 2014.