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INTERVIEW-IHAF addressing the need for unifying halal accreditation: Eng. Mohamed Saleh Badri
Photo: Halal food is seen in a Coop supermarket chain in Rome February 14, 2010. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
This article is paid for and produced by International Halal Accreditation Forum (IHAF) as part of the State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2017. The report can be downloaded from HERE.
What is the core need that IHAF is trying to address?
Statistical reports furnished by leading and reputed institutes are revealing an exponential increase in the demand for Halal products, services, and systems. Due to this fast growing demand, the certifiers around the world are experiencing major expansion to include the services of testing, inspection, and certification of Halal products within their scope. It is clear that Halal practices must be managed adequately.
The OIC has recently revealed its interest for establishing a scheme that assures Halal products in the global markets. Its last conference that was held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in December 2015 has drawn attention of the vital need to create an international organization that assures the credibility of bodies providing Halal Services.
Accordingly, the UAE has established The International Halal Accreditation Forum (IHAF) based in Dubai through Dubai Islamic Economy Development Center (DIEDC) and Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA). As a body that has Accreditation Bodies as members, IHAF aims to provide and maintain confidence in Halal certificates issued by Conformity Assessment Bodies who are involved in overall Halal schemes and Halal value chain, such as certification bodies and inspection bodies.
What does IHAF do?
IHAF's main objective is to establish multi-lateral agreements between its members to recognize and accept each other’s Islamic Sharia Compliance Results. With this agreement, a product that has been certified for Halal compliance in one of the member countries shall be accepted by all other member countries.
This will result in removal of duplication in Sharia verification, testing, and certification, and therefore facilitate Halal trade among member countries. By streamlining the accreditation, certification and monitoring processes, IHAF also facilitates cost-effective accreditation; thereby producing cheaper Halal goods and promotes accessibility to global markets for Halal-related firms.
What has IHAF accomplished so far?
IHAF is ceaselessly working towards increasing the network of countries adopting unified halal accreditation practices, which is critical to ensure sustained growth and enhancing the credibility of the Halal sector, given its rising popularity worldwide. With the approval of new members, the number of IHAF members has reached 27 accreditation bodies, and is expected to double within two years.
Accreditation bodies from UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, India, Thailand, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Hungry, Italy, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Morocco, Libya, Jamaica, and Spain have joined IHAF, and many other Arab countries, Islamic and non-Islamic countries are in the process of membership.
© Thomson Reuters 2017 All rights reserved
Eng. Mohammed Saleh Badri is an Electrical Engineer having 30 years’ experience in the field of Standardization and Infrastructure of Quality. He is currently holding the position of Secretary General for International Halal Accreditation Forum (IHAF) that is an international non government and non for profit organization that aims to assure full compliance of Halal requirement that consists of Safety, Quality, and Islamic Shariah practices and enhance Halal trade globally by unifying Halal conformity practices.
He is also serving as an Advisor to the Board of Directors for Emirates Authority for Standardization & Metrology (ESMA) in UAE — the UAE’s sole National Standards Body that is responsible for formulation of policies, strategies, and management of UAE standards that contribute to protection of consumer safety & rights, environment protection, and enhancing the trade facilitation by issuing related standards and monitor its implementation on UAE level through development of schemes that are recognizable by international organizations and in line with the policies of WTO for TBT.
© Thomson Reuters 2018 All rights reserved
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