The Philippines will be aiming for a larger share of the global halal market worth $150bn by adopting the Australian standards on halal products. The government and the industry have taken such a decision after the trade delegation comprising of government officials and industry representatives visited Australia recently to study the process of producing halal food products.
The Trade and Industry Senior Undersecretary Thomas Aquino led the team to Australia, and were able to gain a first hand knowledge on the best practices of Australia’s halal meat processing system. Aquino observed that the visit gave in depth knowledge about how proper halal procedures on the slaughter of cattle, sheep, goats and chicken were conducted.
The term ‘halal’ means goods or actions that are ‘permissible’ as per Islamic laws. The halal standards are complementary with other food standards, such as the Good Manufacturing Practice and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards.
However, the team was of the opinion that all features of the Australian system could not be adopted as the Australian government’s regulation was centered on halal meat exports to gain access to overseas markets. It has been recommended that an export certificate for halal products by introducing a modified veterinary quarantine certificate of the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) would strengthen the acceptability of halal certification issued by Philippine Islamic organizations.
The Philippine delegation had sought technical assistance from the Australian counterparts in acquiring the knowledge on halal certification process. The Philippines is expecting to start the certification program through the training of Filipino Muslim butchers and the workforce involved in the meat industry.
The global halal market has about 1.6bn consumers from 112 countries, and is valued at around $150bn. Indonesia with 212mn is the largest consumer of halal products among Muslim nations followed by Pakistan with 158mn, Bangladesh with 127mn, Egypt with 69mn, Iran with 67mn, Turkey with 66mn and Nigeria with 64mn. The non-Muslim countries with sizable Muslim consumers include India with 174mn, China with 38mn, Russia with 11mn, the US with 7mn, the Philippines with 5mn and Thailand with 4.5mn.
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