USDA: THE Philippines is an ideal gateway for the suppliers of halal products from the United States, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said.
The USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service said in its Global Agricultural Information Network report that the Philippines is an emerging market for such products because of the country’s growing Muslim population.
“The country is positioning itself as a halal food processing hub for export to other countries and regions with significant Muslim populations,” it said.
The Department of Trade and Industry, in partnership with the local halal industry, is positioning the Philippines as a processing hub where local and imported raw products are processed, branded and exported to Muslim-majority countries.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the Philippines has the third-largest Muslim population in Southeast Asia and is growing at 3 percent annually.
In 2022, the Philippines imported $120 million worth of halal products, including dairy products, beef, poultry meat and products, glucose syrup and animal fats with more than 40 percent originating from the United States.
Majority or 63 percent of the country’s imported halal beef was sourced from India, followed by Brazil with 30 percent, Australia and Ireland with 5 percent and 2 percent, respectively.
The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) was mandated by Republic Act 9997 to develop the Philippine Halal industry and accredit halal-certifying bodies.
“The law ensured that halal certification became the responsibility of the private sector, while the government, through NCMF, focused on accrediting halal certifiers,” it said.
Moreover, the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Brunei discussed new trade ventures including the latter’s exportation of halal beef, lamb and other meat products to the Philippines.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Megawati Manan laid out the possibilities of opening Brunei to Filipino industries as a production hub of Halal products.