Turkish Appetite for Halal Increases

ISTANBUL – A big halal products importer, Turkey has still
not been able to take a constructive step in issuance of halal
certificates. Halalist Expo 2009 is a step toward playing a key role in
dispensing information in halal certificates and will provid a platform
to seal business deals worth $5 million

Turkish appetite for halal increases
Turkey has grown quite an appetite for the halal products market, which has a global volume of $1.2 trillion.

The world’s newest halal industry show Halalist Expo 2009, which will take place in Istanbul

Key players of the world’s halal industry, such as United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, China, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Brazil, France, Germany will gather in Istanbul.

has not been able to benefit from the halal product market as much as
it should have, according to Salim ?ahin, general manager of At?l?m
Fuarc?l?k, the organizer of the event. “In the short term we aim to
establish business connections worth $5 million via this fair. In the
long term we aim to open a door for Turkey to own a $5 million share in
the global halal market.”

“Halal” is an Arabic term referring
to Islamic law and customs, while halal food refers to food permissible
according to Islam. Data shows nearly 70 percent of Muslims worldwide
follow halal food standards.

Halal market for cosmetics, pharmaceuticals grow
market is assumed to have a consumer population of 2 billion and an
annual volume of $2.1 trillion. Food industry takes the biggest share
in the halal market. Meanwhile, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries
have been increasing their share in the market.

The halal
market in Turkey has also been growing day by day. The country imports
halal products, including food, beverage, machinery, textile,
pharmaceuticals and cosmetics every year.

“However, in spite
of the growing figures, Turkey still has not made a move toward an
official halal certificate,” said ?ahin. Therefore the Turkish market
is wide open to international exporters, according to an article on the
Halalist Expo 2009 Web site.

There has been high interest in the
event from abroad, said ?ahin, adding that more than 150 companies from
20 countries are expected to participate. “Brazil, which is a leading
player in the market, will participate in the event to protect its
share in the global halal market,” said ?ahin.

“Some 80
percent of the fair will consist of nutritional products. However,
other industries such as cosmetics and pharmaceuticals have advanced
quite a bit. Non-interest banking institutes, as well as hotels
specifically aimed at serving conservative Muslims, will also take part
in the fair,” ?ahin said.

Halal tooth paste producer Mu’min and U.S.-based vitamin producer Herbal Pharma will also be among the companies at the expo.

halal products expo is the fruit of a request Turkish At?l?m Fuarc?l?k,
which is involved in organizing fairs abroad, received from its partner
in Dubai.

“When we received the request we looked into the
market, and we saw that even the non-Muslim countries have a big share
in the global halal products market,” said ?ahin. ” For example, every
year, Brazil exports halal meat worth $6.5 billion to Muslim countries.
Meanwhile Turkey is still deprived from the opportunities this market
bears because it still has not issued halal certificates.”

issue has been in the country’s agenda for the past couple of years.
Turkish Standards Institution, or TSE, launched a certificate issue
about three years ago but the project was halted.

Issuance of certificates for halal products
12 countries, including Canada, Brazil and the United States, have
issued halal certificates. Food fairs in France and Germany also
include stands for halal food products.

With its current
production conditions, Turkey could easily get a decent share in the
halal products market, said ?ahin. “However the country never attached
much importance to this market. Therefore, although it has no official
validity, many local companies apply to Muftis or issue their own
certificates,” he said. “Seminars on the halal certificate will be a
part of the fair.

“We did not make an official request, however
we would like Nestle and KFC to sponsor this event,” said ?ahin, adding
that these two companies also have sponsored the Dubai and Malesia
halal product fairs. Expo Center between Aug. 13 and 16, will provide a meeting ground for national and international exhibitors.