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The Halal Food Authority (HFA) is now registered as a recognised halal certification body by the Emirates Standardisation and Metrology Authority (ESMA) through January 22, 2019, HFA CEO Saqib Mohammed told Salaam Gateway.
The UK-based HFA considers the UAE a key market in terms of consumption and high-quality premium offerings to a diverse audience, said the organisation.
The independent, not-for-profit organisation has certified around 200 companies and over 7,000 halal products, according to Mohammed. Of these, 95 percent are in the food sector and the rest are in pharma and personal care.
Mohammed now sees the potential for higher growth for HFA halal-certified exports.
“We anticipate a further growth of 5 to 7 percent over the next one year with a strong potential to increase this to around 10 percent in the year after. This growth will be in addition to current industry growth of over 10 percent in the UK,” he said.
HFA is already recognised by other leading agencies, including Malaysia’s JAKIM, Indonesia’s MUI, Singapore’s MUIS, Turkey’s GIMDES, Thailand’s CICOT and other certifiers from the United States, South Africa, Europe, central Asia and Australia, said Mohammed.
The agency has further expansion plans. “We have extended our presence in Europe and operate an office in Belgium, too, with a further plan to expand in Asia,” said Mohammed.
According to the ESMA website, HFA is registered to certify the following products:
|Processing 1 (Perishable animal products)||Eggs, dairy, fish and meat (processed and portioned products), excluding animal slaughtering|
|Processing 2 (Perishable vegetable products)||Fruits, fresh juices, vegetables, cereals, spices, cereal products, fruits granulates, dried herbs and vegetables|
|Processing 3 (Products with long shelf life at room temperature)||Canned products, biscuits, snacks, oil and derivatives, drinking water, pasta, flour, bakery products, sugar, salt, chocolate|
|Chemical and biochemical manufacturing||Food additives, dietary supplements, vitamins, processing aids, cleaning aids, enzymes, microbial products, natural yeast, glycerin, fatty acids|
HFA is also looking beyond food, pharma and personal care to the halal logistics and supply chain. According to Mohammed, the organisation has secured an ‘exclusive partnership’ with the Malaysian Institute of Transportation (MITRANS) of Universiti Teknologi MARA, to develop and deliver training in halal logistics and supply chain in the UK and Europe.
"This initiative will help in achieving halal compliance in the logistics arena,” said Mohammed.
By March 2017, ESMA intends to implement a policy where all halal products exported to the UAE must be certified by bodies accredited under UAE 2055-2 and registered with ESMA.
Other certifiers currently recognised by ESMA are:
1. Halal Transactions Inc (USA)
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