Mr. Anan Suwannarat, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, recently chaired the opening ceremony of Thailand Halal Assembly 2018, one of the world’s most comprehensive Halal expositions and conferences, co-hosted by the Halal Science Center (HSC), Chulalongkorn University, and the Central Islamic Council of Thailand (CICOT).
The Thailand Halal Assembly (THA) 2018 was held from 14-16 December 2018 at BITEC Bangna, comprising two major events: The 11th Halal Science, Industry and Business International Conference 2018 (HASIB 2018) and Thailand International Halal Expo 2018 (TIHEX 2018), plus an exhibition of Tan Sri Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, with his virtuous perspectives, to honour the late Dr. Surin Pitsuwan who continually contributed to HSC as an advisory board member and became a symbol of scientific development associated with the centre.
HASIB 2018 focuses Halal science and industry and business activities around the world. The conferences cover cosmeceutical and nutritional products; OMICs approaches for Halal authentication; Innovative food contact materials in Halal aspects; technological edge for Halal products and services; Halal Bioeconomy and digital marketing; and Academic presentation.
Held under the HASIB 2018, the 5th IHSC International Halal Standard Convention is a meeting of international Halal standards and certification bodies. There are various activities such as Harmonising global Halal standards forum; Mutual recognition agreements between the Halal Standard Institute of Thailand & International Certification Bodies; OIC/SMIC Halal standards workshop; and Public hearing for Thailand’s new Halal standards.
TIHEX 2018 comprises 10 zones featuring Halal products and services, including Fashion & Jewellery, Cosmetics & Health, CICOT, Service & Travel, Food & Beverage, SME, HAL-Q, Enterprise, Public agencies and International agencies. There is also a THA Café corner for business talk, experience exchange and establishment of Halal business partners.
This year, THA was held under the theme “Precision Halalization in the Bioeconomy Era” to promote the use of precision Halalization and build awareness of Thai entrepreneurs towards Halal Food Certification (HFC).
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Winai Dahlan, Director of The Halal Science Center, Chulalongkorn University, explained the reason behind the theme “Precision Halalization in the Bioeconomy Era”.
“As agriculture has always been Thailand’s strength, Bioeconomy should play an important role in the country’s future economic system by integrating technologies which respect the environment and cultural differences, applying precision farming, and bettering human and animal food production from renewable biological resources. Precision Halalization, on the other hand, focuses the integration of standardisation, science, technology and innovation to ensure purification of Halal products.”
“As we are now moving to the Bioeconomy era, we want to encourage Thai entrepreneurs to apply for Halal Food Certification in order to penetrate the fast-growing global Muslim consumer market. Regrettably, only 1% of Thai entrepreneurs have seen the importance of Muslim consumer markets.”
“In the medical area, we have precision medicine to offer individual patients customized treatment and healthcare, in the agricultural area, we have precision agriculture to observe, measure and respond to inter- and intra-field variability in crops, so in the Halal field, we also have precision Halalization to precisely detect contamination harmful to Halal food manufacturing to ensure hygienic products being delivered to consumers’ hands.”
“We have seen Thailand Halal Assembly fair growing continually from five years ago around 40-50 booths and 1,500 participants to today around 380 booths and 40,000 participants, both domestic and international.”
“Today, we find ways to help boost the country’s economy via the use of Halal. Halal gives benefits to non-Muslims as producers, exporters and distributors because Muslims are only consumers. Now, we can see a large number of non-Muslims participating in the THA fair who are interested in Halal accreditation.”
“The trend of Halal markets today is no longer for Muslims only. Many non-Muslim consumers prefer and choose to consume Halal food due to hygienic principles that make Halal food wholesome and healthy. Today, the perception of consumers towards Halal foods has been changed.”
“So, we hope that the Thailand Halal Assembly 2018 will encourage Thai entrepreneurs to have their products and services certified as Halal and gain recognition worldwide.”