Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Exporters urge firms to get halal stamp

EXPORTERS of cosmetic products, food supplements, and food seasoning are urged to seek halal certification to further expand their businesses abroad and tap the huge global halal market, the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (Philexport) said in a statement over the weekend.

“Halal industry is very much big.... For you [Filipino exporters] to benefit the Middle East market, which actually has a very huge potential, halal certification is one of the compulsory things that you have to undertake,” Har Man Ahmad, Trade Commissioner of Malaysia External Trade Development Corp., was quoted saying in the statement.

Halal products are allowed for use or consumption under Islamic guidelines.

Mr. Ahmad said he believed that the Philippines has a competitive advantage in cosmetics, food supplements, and food seasoning ingredients.

“There are a lot of potentials (for these products). Just by having a small halal seal will bring big difference to your products being exported abroad,” he said.

According to Imarat Consultants, the global halal food market is worth about $500 billion annually.

Efforts to develop the local halal industry began in 2001 under the Arroyo administration, when the Trade, Agriculture, Health, and Science Secretaries and the executive director of the Office of Muslim Affairs (OMA) signed a memorandum of understanding to establish an ad hoc committee on halal food.

Eight years later, Republic Act (RA) No. 9997 was passed, abolishing the OMA and creating the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), which has the authority to regulate and develop the halal industry.

The NCMF is mandated to promote and develop the Philippine Halal Industry and accredit halal-certifying entities for the benefit of Muslim Filipinos and in partnership with appropriate agencies, individuals and institutions here and abroad, according to Article II, Section 8 of RA 9997. -- Daryll Edisonn D. Saclag

Source: www.bworldonline.com

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