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Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Turkey close to launch of halal standards


The Turkish Standards Institute (TSE) is now ready to introduce a standard for halal food -- food prepared in accordance with Islamic law -- the Anatolia news agency reported yesterday.

TSE President Tahir Büyükhelvacıgil told Anatolia yesterday that the TSE has made good progress and has now entered the last step in the process.
Büyükhelvacıgil said he hopes TSE’s efforts will prove successful in the global halal food market and underlined the importance of the halal market, noting that halal products are in high demand globally. “The halal food market has reached almost $50 million in size. We should take action to meet the increasing global demand for halal food,” he said.
The TSE is closely following global developments concerning halal food and is working to be in line with these developments, the TSE president said, underlining that Malaysia is one of the remarkable examples to have become successful in this sector. Addressing criticism, namely, that a halal food certificate will lead to unfair competition between establishments with and without one, he said it is not obligatory to sell halal food and that people are free to choose.
“In the long run what is important is customer satisfaction. A standard for halal foodstuffs is a need in the Turkish market like that of other Muslim countries as well as countries around the world with Muslim minorities,” he noted.
The halal food sector reportedly has a 1.6 billion-strong consumer base worldwide. Countries around the world, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, have boosted revenue from food exports by joining a growing market via introducing standards for halal food.
Introducing halal foodstuffs standards in 2004, Malaysia has managed to secure a $2.1 trillion market share worldwide. Seeing the potential, even non-Muslim countries such as Vietnam have started to take important steps to produce foodstuffs in conformity with the standards. The TSE began work on introducing halal standards three years ago but was stymied by bureaucratic factors. Last year the TSE stepped up initiatives to meet increasing demand for halal food both globally and domestically. The halal standards also regulate packaging, transportation, labeling and the logistics of foods. In addition preparation procedures are also analyzed to ensure their conformance with halal standards.
(Source: Today's Zaman/22 Sep 08)

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