Turkey plans to start Halal Certification to gain market share

Turkey gears up secure share in huge halal food market

Food Auditing and Certification Research Association (G?MDES) will for
the first time in Turkey soon begin issuing halal food certificates,
bringing the country one step closer to winning a share from the giant
global market for halal food — food prepared in accordance with
Islamic law, which has reached $2 trillion in size.

Zein Nasution, vice director for certification at the Indonesian
Council of Ulamas (MUI), recently gave presentations on halal
certification procedures and requirements to G?MDES officials. Halal
food certification was first launched in Singapore, a predominantly
non-Muslim country.

The halal food concept has gained in importance in
recent years, and halal products are in high demand worldwide. The
certification system has also been developed in Western countries.
Turkey has, however, lacked such a system, and G?MDES is looking to
change this.

The 2nd International Halal Food Conference began in
?stanbul’s Feshane conference hall on Saturday with the attendance of
experts from 12 countries.

Speaking at the inauguration of the meeting,
G?MDES Chairman Hüseyin Büyüközer said they had been working to
introduce halal food certification in Turkey for the past 25 years and
are glad to have made such progress.

Büyüközer said four Turkish
firms have already applied to receive certificates and that they expect
to issue these certificates as soon as possible, underlining that
Turkish consumers have long been looking forward to such a development.

He said the entire production process of a food item “from farm to
kitchen” will be compatible with halal food requirements. Halal
standards also regulate the packaging, transportation, labeling and
logistics of foods. Additionally, preparation procedures are analyzed
to ensure their conformance with halal standards.

that there are different types of halal food certificates issued in 60
countries today, the G?MDES head said the conference aims to unite all
Muslim entrepreneurs under one single roof and introduce one valid
certification system. “This issue interests some 2 billion Muslims in
the world,” he added.

He said Turkey has the chance to compensate for
losses in exports due to shrinking demand in EU and Russian markets by
entering new markets with halal food certificates.

Some 24
speakers from the US, the Netherlands, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand,
Australia, Kyrgyzstan, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and the
Republic of South Africa were scheduled to give speeches at the
?stanbul meeting, which was due to end on Sunday.

Seeing the
potential, even non-Muslim countries such as Vietnam began taking
important steps to produce foodstuffs in conformity with the standards.
In 2007, the Turkish Standards Institute (TSE) stepped up initiatives
to meet increasing demand for halal food both globally and domestically.