The Halal products market is a great opportunity for any company that wants to export to countries with large Muslim communities or even to offer its products to domestic consumers, not only in the food sector and more specifically in the meat sector, but also in other economic activities such as tourism, the pharmaceutical industry or the cosmetics industry.

This is the main message launched at the meeting “Spain Halal in Figures”, which served to shed light on the great options that are opening up in a market that has yet to be fully exploited at national and international level and which also requires a unification of standards at international level to define Halal accreditations.

Enrique Fanjul, representative of the Exporters and Investors Club, Blanca Torrent, president of the Municipal Institute of Economic Development of Cordoba (IMDEEC) and deputy mayor of the Cordoba City Council, and Isabel Romero, representative of the Islamic Board and general director of the Halal Institute, who acted as moderator, were the main speakers at the main table.

The Halal Institute is the body responsible for certifying in Spain, Portugal, Mexico and the rest of Latin America the goods and services suitable for consumption by Muslims, according to the precepts of Islam.

With 15 years of experience and more than 450 clients, such as Repsol, Nestlé, Pascual, Alter or the Mandarin Hotel, the Institute is dedicated to promoting a standardised development of the Halal market in Europe and Latin America, through the articulation of initiatives, actions and projects that favour the integration of the Halal lifestyle, a global concept that means “permitted, authorised, healthy, ethical or non-abusive”, and, therefore, that is beneficial for human beings, animals and the protection of the environment.

Emilio de Miguel, Enrique Fanjul, Blanca Torrent and Isabel Romero
What is Halal?

As the Institute itself explains, Halal defines all goods, practices and services suitable for Muslims. All foods are Halal, with the exception of those classified as Haram by Sharia or Islamic law, such as pork, animal found dead or not properly slaughtered, blood, ethanol or any other intoxicating substance. The Halal market covers not only the food sector, but also tourism, banking, logistics, finance, pharmaceuticals, fashion and cosmetics. Today the term Halal is synonymous with quality, health and sustainability.

Halal Institute Certification

The Halal Institute’s Halal certification brings several benefits, such as access to 57 emerging countries and 1. 800 million potential customers worldwide, 50 million of them in Europe, access to a market valued at more than 3 billion dollars, access to 4 million Muslim consumers (citizens and tourists) in Spain, overcoming barriers to entry in countries where certification is mandatory in order to introduce and market products and services, obtaining a reputable guarantee brand recognised worldwide by the Muslim population, having a certificate backed by the international accreditations of Muslim-majority countries, generating trust among consumers, facilitating their loyalty, differentiating itself from the competition by positioning itself as a “Muslim-Friendly” entity, accessing an alternative source of financing (Islamic banking) and becoming (in the eyes of Islamic investment funds) a “Shariah-Compliant” asset, adding value to the product and guaranteeing quality, healthiness and sustainability.

Blanca Torrent and Isabel Moreno
Market opportunity for companies and the Halal market in figures

The main elements of the meeting were the intervention of experts on the subject and the presentation of the report “Halal in Figures”. 

The report shows the important dimension of the Halal markets as a destination for Spanish exports and, in particular, of the Asian markets as potential importers of these products, as well as in the sector’s standardisation initiatives.

The report is a useful tool to raise awareness among Spanish companies and institutions of the importance of this market. It is also a useful tool to encourage the implementation of public and private measures and initiatives to broaden the export base of Spanish Halal products and services. It has been prepared by the Halal Institute based on its own and external sources, such as the report on the state of the Islamic economy prepared by DinerStandard and the databases for Spanish exports to the countries of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation of the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism.

Isabel Romero, Director General of the Institute, opened the event by highlighting the “consolidation of the Halal market” and the work of the Halal Institute over the last 25 years, offering a “professional certification option through a recognised brand”.

The representative of the Islamic Council also pointed out that “the number of companies is growing, as well as the diversification of sectors and new certification bodies to standardise competition, which always helps to improve offers and services”. She also spoke of disadvantages with examples of organisations that are far removed from the desire to improve, which can deteriorate the image of the Halal concept.

For his part, Enrique Fanjul, representative of the Exporters and Investors Club, pointed out that the promotion of markets for Halal products can provide “great opportunities for various companies”. The Exporters’ Club, as a private association of companies, some of which are very important, is equivalent to 20% of Spain’s GDP, with foreign investment accounting for 50% of total Spanish foreign investment.

Enrique Fanjul

The foreign sector has been fundamental to economic activity in recent years, especially in the last stage of the economic crisis, maintaining and boosting national economic activity. Between January and July of this year, Spanish investment abroad exceeded 220,000 million euros, with growth of 24% compared to last year. Imports also grew by 40%, something positive because they are also beneficial for Spain and increase competitiveness, as Fanjul explained.

Enrique Fanjul wanted to stress that these activities promote a greater presence of Spanish products in the Halal products market, which is insufficiently known in Spain and which can offer many opportunities for national companies. “We need to publicise this market more widely and provide information on the certification processes of the Halal Institute for a market that can offer important opportunities for Spanish exports,” said Fanjul.

In her speech, Blanca Torrent, President of the Municipal Institute for Economic Development of Cordoba (IMDEEC), Deputy Mayor of the Cordoba City Council and businesswoman, spoke of the closeness and affection that exists between the Spanish and Muslim cultures.  

She also highlighted the “importance of the Halal Institute, which represents companies from Cordoba that have a lot to contribute to the Muslim world”. Blanca Torrent also specified the business excellence of companies certified with the Halal seal as an economic engine for the future.