Halal food manufacturers are destined to appeal even to non-Muslims

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Halal is no longer the sole domain of Muslims, and is instead “a new culture many countries are keen to embrace” as they seek healthier and more sustainable food supplies.

That’s according to Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, chief executive of the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC). In a keynote address at Gulfood in Dubai last week, he said that halal’s inherent provenance would mean that it would appeal to non-Muslim consumers in countries plagued by food-safety concerns, if only they knew more about it.

Awareness is key for Muslim and non-Muslim populations alike. Experts expect the latter to veer towards Halal due to rising concerns about unhygienic and unhealthy food,” Al Awar said.

He called on halal manufacturers to embrace issues like preparing for rising demand, protecting vulnerable people in times of supply volatility, and working towards ending hunger.

He also urged them to find ways to mitigate food production’s impact on climate change, and protect the global ecosystem.

Now that food safety, food production and food security had all topped the global agenda, maintaining the status quo was no longer an option, Al Awar said.

The business-as-usual approach has led to severe challenges that are putting the next generation at risk,” he said, adding that the estimated number of overweight children had grown by 11m in 15 years to 42m in 2015.

Conversely, rising food prices, conflict-related food scarcity in countries like Syria, and natural disasters limit meant millions of other children were being malnourished.

More responsibility for sustainability and better ethics in the food industry were, he said, “the need of the hour”.

As the halal culture has survived for thousands of years, we do not have to reinvent the wheel. We just need to improve it, add value and utilise innovative technology to expand its reach.”

DIEDC was formed when nine nations—America, Australia, Britain, Egypt, New Zealand, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia Spain and the UAE—agreed last year to establish a Dubai-based international halal accreditation forum.

Its strategy is to increase the global volume of the halal trade while helping diversity the UAE’s economy. To do this it is currently establishing a halal trade “ecosystem”, including a global standards mark, and positioning Dubai as the global hub for the halal industry. 

The global halal market is expected to be worth US$3.7tr by 2019—an increase of 10.8% a year, according to a Global Islamic Economy Report from last year.

The same report ranked Muslim-majority Indonesia as the top market for halal food consumption, with a market worth US$190bn, Turkey, with a market valued at US$168bn, came second, followed by Pakistan’s US$108bn market, based on 2013 data.

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Comments (3)

Farid - 10 Mar 2017 | 09:34

Halal Foods

The concept of Halal is a religious condition associated with food and means of earning. I want to focus on Halal food here as some of our non Muslim friends are of the opinion that Islamic way of slaughtering is cruel which is totally wrong baseless and misunderstanding about Islamic way of slaughtering. Seafood is very famous in western developed countries so what do you think about way of fishing and other seafood. Fishes and other creatures are not slaughtered theses are died after torment process why we did not call it cruel and ancient. Islamic way of slaughtering is best for human it cleanup the body of animal from dangerous bacteria diseases and germs. Thats why we both Muslims and Jews are following this way of slaughtering.

10-Mar-2017 at 09:34 GMT

Chris - 09 Mar 2017 | 11:21

Halal Meat

There is absolutely no excuse for the cruel halal slaughter based on ancient methodologies, when current slaughtering with less cruelty is now available. Imams now ride around in 4x4s -not camels which were the only transport when the Koran was written.

09-Mar-2017 at 23:21 GMT
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