Pakistan wakes up to halal certification
Pakistan has never set any legal standards for the sale of halal meat in the country. Going to a grocer off the streets and asking him/her to prove their ’halal certification’ is not part of the routine nor do most people suspect otherwise, when buying meat or eating out at restaurants.
Thankfully, there’s a wakeup call and the authorities have realized the necessity for quality checks to prove that the meat that lands on your table is indeed halal.
“In Pakistan, there are thousands of meat shops where animals are routinely cut by the butcher’s teenage son and therefore not subject to any checks,” says Erum Anwar, a mother of three small children. However, all that is about to change.
CEO Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TdAP) Tariq Iqbal Puri told the press that, “certified industries require more vigilance in quality maintenance,” and the ‘halal label’ will help the industries boost revenues by at least 20 percent.
“It’s a good phenomena from the consumer’s point of view, but it will boil down to how effectively they can implement the process; people are always eye monitoring boards with suspicion,” says Ammad Danish, a senior brand manager based in Karachi.
In the last decade, Pakistan’s exports of frozen meat have increased exponentially and there are numerous new international markets to tap. Most of these have remained closed to Pakistani meat due to a lack of halal certification.