Taiwan: The Marine Bureau assists in the halal certification for the  third consecutive year

100 high-quality fish products enter the halal market

The international halal market is gradually gaining attention. At present, the global Muslim population exceeds 1.6 billion. It is estimated that by 2050, Muslims will account for one-third of the global population, creating a great blue ocean business opportunity. To promote Kaohsiung’s high-quality fish products in the halal market, the Marine Bureau of Kaohsiung City Government and the Fisheries Agency of the Council of Agriculture have worked together to directly assist businesses in the halal certification. A results presentation was held today (March 8th) at the Ambassador Hotel Kaohsiung. Since 2018, 100 fish products have been certified. This way not only will Muslims in Taiwan be able to easily purchase high-quality fish products from Kaohsiung, but we can also lay the foundation for entering the international halal market in the future.

Huang Den-fu, Acting Director-General of the Marine Bureau, Kaohsiung City Government stated that, many businesses have joined the ranks of halal certification to promote the city’s high-quality fish products. To increase sales of Kaohsiung’s fish products in the halal market, the Marine Bureau and the Fisheries Agency implemented the halal certification guidance program, assisting fishermen and processors in obtaining halal certification step-by-step. The government makes sure that producers take responsibility of product management and cooperate with the relevant systems of halal certification to successfully penetrate the halal market, promoting a positive image of Kaohsiung’s fish products so that they can be sold both domestically and internationally.

Acting Director-General Huang Den-fu pointed out that, the businesses that have obtained the halal certification include Tzukuan Fisheries Association, Su’s Giant Grouper, Sumitomo Seafood, Feiyang Seafoods, Welltech Semiconductor (Mama Fisch), TianShiFu Fishery etc. The wide array of certified products includes fresh whole fish and fish fillets, as well as fish balls, snacks and ready-to-eat products made from the top aquaculture species produced in Kaohsiung, such as groupers, tilapia, sea bass, milkfish and tuna. The government also assisted Soon Yi Sushi Kaohsiung Main Store in creating a halal menu with 50 items including sashimi, sushi, hand rolls and donburi. In addition, to establish a Muslim-friendly environment, Soon Yi Sushi also rearranged the hardware/software components in the restaurant and well separated an area for Muslim guests in comply with halal certification. It reflected the diversity of halal certified guidance that provided by the city government. After passing the certification, some businesses have started receiving orders from distributors, and the Marine Bureau also actively promotes business opportunity matches with the tourism industry, supermarkets, convenience stores and e-commerce platforms.

Ma Hsiao-chi, Principal Consultant of Taiwan INHART Halal Certification Authority stated that because of the pandemic, it is particularly difficult for businesses to participate in this program and obtain the certification. To comply with epidemic prevention measures, the courses were completed via distance education. Apart from obtaining the halal personnel training certificate, businesses also need to receive two to three sessions of on-site counseling to finish the halal portfolio and on-site improvement. After the committee of International Islamic University Malaysia completes a series of processes including reviewing the application documents and ingredients of fish products, they the committee will issue the certificate and the product’s halal certification number. In the future, these certified products will have more opportunities to penetrate the halal market.

Also, to promote and introduce the halal products to Taiwan community, Marine Bureau hosted a promotional event at Taipei Hope Square to sell Halal certified products. Through an on-site event, the public knew more about halal certification and understand the connection between halal products and food safety.