OIC General Secretariat, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
09-10 December 2015
- The OIC Stakeholders Forum on Unified Halal Food Standards and Procedures was held in the OIC Headquarters in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on 9-10 December 2015, within the framework of the implementation of Resolution No. E-1/42 adopted by 42nd Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) held in State of Kuwait on 27-28 May 2015.
- 78 participants from 23 countries and OIC institutions attended the Forum (the list of participants is attached to the Report).
Proceedings of the Forum:
- While inaugurating the Forum, H.E. Mr. Iyad Ameen Madani, Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, underscored the importance given by the OIC to the harmonization of Halal Standards among the Member States. He urged the Forum to suggest modalities for achieving harmonised OIC Halal standards that would be globally acceptable, taking into account the various national variations (copy of Speech of the Secretary General is attached to this Report).
- E. Matior Rahman, Minister of Religious Affairs of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, also spoke at the opening in which he confirmed that the demand for halal was on the increase and called on Muslim countries to seize this opportunity to develop unified standards and procedures among themselves.
- The proceedings of the Forum were conducted through the four Panel Sessions, namely: (1) A Unified Halal Standards in OIC Member States: Problems and Prospects; (2) Halal Food Accreditation and Certification: Organizational Matters; (3) Creating an Enabling Framework for Mutual Recognition of Halal Certificates; (4) Expanding Cooperation among National Halal Food Providers, the Halal Food Trade and Role of Private Sector (copies of all presentations are annexed to this Report);
- The DG of SESRIC made a presentation on “the State of Halal Industry in OIC Member States: Challenges and Potentials”. The presentation provided a general overview of the recent trends in global Halal food industry, with particular emphasis on OIC Member States.
- At the end of the panelists’ presentations and the general debate by participants, the Forum:
- invited the Islamic Fiqh Academy to expedite action on the pending issues, particularly with regard to stunning and mechanical slaughtering, considering the need for a unified source of fatwa for the unified OIC Halal standards,
- Appreciated SMIIC activities in developing harmonized Halal Standard, and encouraged SMIIC to consolidate its role in developing harmonized Islamic Halal Standard in all fields;
- Urged all OIC Member States to actively participate in SMIIC technical committees;
- Emphasized that the national deviations should not be an obstacle to having an OIC harmonized Halal standard, and recommended that those variations can be addressed in the Standard as national deviations;
- Listened to the activities of SMIIC Accreditation Committee as well as a proposal to create an independent body outside SMIIC to handle Halal accreditation processes and activities. It discussed a platform to promote mutual recognition of Halal certificates among accreditation bodies in OIC member states, issue of coordination with non-OIC member states, as well as ensuring the integrity and competency of Halal accreditation and certification processes;
- Expressed the need to move faster in the accreditation and certification processes according to international practices that will place emphasis on the overall interests of Muslims in both majority and minority Muslim countries;
- Emphasized that the mutual recognition of Halal certificate could be a possible solution to enable and increase exchange of the Halal products between OIC member states;
- Acknowledged that certification must comply with relevant religious requirements, administered through a unified source of Islamic ruling and underscored the role of Government in accreditation and certification processes;
- Also emphasized the importance of unified Halal accreditation scheme based on the OIC/SMIIC Standards;
- Underscored the need for a participatory approach to developing Halal standards, accreditation and certification, including involvement of the Private sector within PPP modality;
- Stressed importance of providing support to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and cooperatives for complying with Halal requirements;
- Commended the activities of ICDT, IDB Group and ICCIA, aimed at involving trade promotion organizations in developing the institutional capacities on Halal market development;
- Took note of IDB Group study and strategy guide on Halal industrial development and capacity building activities.
- The Forum acknowledged the offer made by the delegation of Turkey to host the second edition of the Forum in Istanbul, Turkey.
- The participants expressed their appreciation to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and General Secretariat of the OIC for the excellent arrangements made for the OIC Stakeholders Forum on Unified Halal Food Standards and Procedures and for the generous hospitality extended to all participants of the Forum.
Jeddah, 10 December 2015