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Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Turkey: Halal certification a must for export market

İstanbul yesterday hosted a symposium on halal food -- food prepared in accordance with Islamic teachings -- where businessmen called for the establishment of a halal food certification system in Turkey without delay.

Speaking at the symposium, organized by the Food Auditing and Certification Research Association (GİMDES), Independent Industrialists and Businessmen's Association (MÜSİAD) President Ömer Bolat stated that many countries have been requesting halal certificates on their imports and that Turkey is being put at a disadvantage in these markets since it does not yet have a certification system.

Bolat pointed out that halal certification is very important, especially for the food industry. Bolat noted that the volume of the halal food market is expected to hit $600 billion this year, which constitutes 5 percent of total world trade. He said after the establishment of a halal food certification system, Turkey's annual exports to the Middle East and Africa would exceed $20 billion.

Professor Ahmet Akgündüz, chancellor of the Islamic University of Rotterdam, said the halal food concept has gained importance in recent years and pointed out that the certification was first launched in the non-Muslim country of Singapore. He noted that a certification system has also been developed in Western countries, saying that Turkey lacks such a system.--(Today's Zaman)

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