ASSALAAMU ALAIKUM WA RAHMATULLAH Alhamdulillah was-salatu was-salaamu 'ala rasoolillah. All thanks and praise is to ALLAH, Subhanahu wa ta'ala, and we ask that HIS blessings and peace be upon HIS Messenger, Muhammad, salla ALLAHu alaihi wa sallam.
Once again Muslims around the globe prepare to welcome the blessed month of Ramadan. Ramadan is a cherished time for the blessings it brings and the opportunity it offers us to rebalance our lives if they have gotten out of balance. IFANCA wishes everyone Ramadan Mubarak and we encourage everyone to apply themselves and gain the blessings from the first day, as before we know it, the month will have departed.
Let us also remember the less fortunate and be extra generous in sharing the bounty we have been granted with those in need. And let us remember family, friends and aquantances who fasted and prayed with us last year but are not here this year to fast and offer prayer. Keep them in your dua and do your best. We do not know if we will get the opportunity again next year.
Ramadan Mubarak and may ALLAH (Subhanahu wa ta'ala) accept all our fasting and salat and all our deeds and grant us the Firdaws.
Marketing experts in the US have observed that Muslims, estimated to be as many as nine million people in this nation alone, may be well assimilated into the US consumer culture but many also want to follow their religion's rules when they shop and eat. (IFANCA 2005)
The food buying power of Muslims in the US is estimated to be well over US$16 billion per year. The halal food market is growing at a rapid pace and is becoming an important niche market. This is further encouraged by the fact that halal food is not only consumed by Muslims, but people of other faiths too.
Consumer demand for halal food has resulted in a market that is growing so fast that consumers are now worried about fraudulent halal claims. Consumers are asking that halal claims be controlled by government agencies. This is evidenced by the approval of halal food laws in the US. The legislation was established to protect consumers against misleading halal claims. New Jersey was the first to pass such laws in 1999, followed by Illinois, California, Michigan, Minnesota and others.
In 2003, the state of Texas had added in its Business and Commerce Code, Chapter 17, a subchapter titled "SUBCHAPTER L. LABELING, ADVERTISING, and SALE OF HALAL FOODS."
New York passed the New York Halal Foods Protection Act in 2005. The Act requires businesses and individuals dealing with halal food to register their information with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.
The following metropolitan areas have been identified as the top ten major US Halal markets:
New York City, New Jersey, and Long Island Metropolitan areas
France is home to the largest Muslim community in Europe numbering 4.7 million people. It represents the largest halal market in Europe with sales ranging from US$2-4 billion in 2005. Hypermarkets and multinational food producers in France are increasing their selection of halal food. Halal consumers, whether Muslims or the general population, have cultivated multi-ethnic tastes which include Spring Rolls (Popiah), chicken nuggets, ravioli, halal soups, etc. The last five years have witnessed a steady rise in demand for ready made/prepared meals, canned and frozen foods. This trend is set to grow in other parts of Europe, which will be contributed to by the following population statistics besides France:
Germany – 2 million Muslims
UK – 1.5 million
Netherlands – half a million
Belgium and Austria – quarter of a million
This does not include the millions of Muslims living in Spain, Italy, the Baltics and the Scandinavian countries.
The port of Rotterdam is currently positioning itself as the strategic halal entry point for the European halal market. The port is putting in measures to segregate halal and non-halal products in its logistics facilities.
The European halal market is further boosted by the commitment of companies such as Nestlé. Nestlé operates 75 halal certified plants and offers more than 100 halal products to consumers. Halal products account for 35% of its Nestlé sales.
In South East Asia
It is well known that South East Asia is one of the strongest markets for halal products. Extra-ASEAN food exports are estimated at more than US$26 billion and imports at US$13 billion. Exports for non-food products (pharmaceuticals, personal care products, cosmetics, etc) are worth about US$4 billion and imports about US$2 billion. With 250 million of ASEAN's 537 million population being Muslims, the halal market is huge.
This is the region where halal awareness is the most obvious. Generally, halal is associated with meat and meat products, but in this region, due to an increased awareness about halal, non-animal based products such as flour, butter, sauces, milk, hair dyes, toothpaste, etc. have been halal certified.
Thailand has repositioned itself well in the halal industry. While promoting itself as the Halal Kitchen of the World, it is gearing itself towards becoming a recognized center of excellence in science and testing of halal products. Thailand plans to export processed chicken meat to the rest of the world. It is working on becoming the leading poultry exporter to the GCC countries. Its chicken exports are estimated to be worth US$1.2 billion.
Brunei has recently launched its own halal brand. Among other things, the Brunei halal brand is aiming to increase the marketability of its domestic industries and to diversify its economy.
The Singapore food industry records high growth in the Halal sector. Companies reported growth of 15-20% since going Halal. The issuance of Halal certificates by its Halal authority record an average growth of 15% per year since 2000.
In the Middle East
Middle East is an obvious strong market for halal products. GCC member countries include the wealthy nations of the Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and of Oman. Their annual food imports are estimated to be worth more than US$30 billion, while imports of non-food products (pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, personal care products and cosmetics) are worth more than US$2 billion. The demand for halal for this region is expected to grow.
In Other Markets
Other markets that have a huge demand for halal and business potential include Australia and South Africa. These regions have experienced tremendous growth in halal food production and export.
It was previously believed that only Muslim countries could produce halal food. Now we know that this is not true. Most Muslim countries import halal food from the USA, Australia, Canada, Ireland, the UK, Brazil, New Zealand and other countries. Currently, the annual halal trade is estimated to be worth well over US$500 billion annually. This could well reach the US$1 trillion mark in the next few years. This growth is perhaps attributed to the following factors:
Globally, Islam is one of the fastest growing religions. This increase in population has been observed in many Islamic and non-Islamic countries, outpacing the supply of halal food. In addition, halal food is also consumed by non-Muslims. And this trend is observed to be growing. This is due to consumer awareness of the safety and health benefits of consuming halal foods.
It is also observed in many regions around the world that Muslim spending is substantial. The spending levels for halal have resulted in many companies benefiting from being halal certified.
An increased awareness by consumers about halal food and food in general is another factor that contributes to this growth. Halal concerns have expanded from meat and poultry based products to other food and consumer care products. The increased awareness of the wholesome, nutritious, pure and safe nature of halal products has increased their appeal to consumers in general and they are now enjoyed by many non-Muslims.
CIA World Fact Book 2000 Halal Food Products Market Report – 2002; Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Global Halal Food Market – July 2007 Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Berita Harian: "8 Juta Langganan Islam di McDonald's Setahun" 28 Julai 2001 Global Market: Halal Perspective – July 2007 Shahlan Hairalah What Halal Consumers Want – August 2007 Shahlan Hairalah USDA: FAS Worldwide June 2007 Matrade – Paris, Product Market Study: Halal Market in France: July 2005 The Economist: August 2007 European Islam: A Profile; Jocelyn Cesari Halal Food Production - International and Domestic Domestic Trade in Halal Products 2004 Total Extra-ASEAN Trade by Product Chapter – 1999 to 2003, ASEAN Trade data & Regional Policy Division, Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Japan – www.asean.org.jp (Middle East Databook, Middle East and North Africa – Regional Surveys of the World 2005, 51st Edition) www.foodsciencecentral.com www.allbusiness.com
SAFC® Expands IFANCA Halal-Certified Line Of Flavors & Fragrances
ST. LOUIS, USA – As of July 1st this year, SAFC Supply Solutions®, a focus area within SAFC, a member of the Sigma-Aldrich Group, has added an additional 200 IFANCA halal-certified food-grade products to its extensive flavors & fragrances (F&F) aroma chemicals range. This addition expands SAFC Supply Solutions' halal offering to over 550 products, enhancing its position as a premier supplier of halal certified aroma raw materials to the marketplace. In addition to religious tradition, the halal qualification provides food technology and flavor organizations with an additional degree of quality assurance.
IFANCA Certifies BI Nutraceuticals
BI Nutraceuticals now offers several hundred IFANCA halal-certified food and dietary supplement ingredients. The certification ensures that ingredients are manufactured in keeping with Islamic dietary restrictions. Certifications such as this are perceived as an important value addition not only amongst Muslims but amongst consumers who are particular about the quality of their food.
As part of the halal certification process, BI Nutraceuticals said that IFANCA had inspected all of its manufacturing facilities. "The Muslim faith is an important demographic focus for BI and we feel it critical that our ingredients meet the strict dietary standards of our customer base," said George Pontiakos, President and CEO, BI Nutraceuticals. "Demand from manufacturers for halal-certified ingredients is growing exponentially, especially as halal-certified products continue to be sought out not only by the Muslim community, but also by a diverse group of individuals who view the certification as a symbol of superior quality." The company said a list of its halal-certified ingredients is available upon request.
Letter: Assalamu Alaikum. I have a question about Carvel ice cream. Is ice cream that is sugar-free also free from alcohol? Is Carvel's sugar-free ice cream free from alcohol? What are the percentages in each case? What is the opinion of Ulema about the consumption of such products? Dr. Moiez, Professor of ECE
IFANCA Response: Dear Dr. Moiez, Wa alaikum assalaamu wa rahmatullah. We are not familiar with this brand. Some sugar-free ice cream products are made with sugar alcohols. They are alcohols in chemical terminology, and not from khamr alcohol. Most ice creams have small amounts of alcohol. According to the ulema at IFANCA a small amount, less that 0.1%, is acceptable as a flavor component. ALLAH (Subhanahu wa ta'ala) knows best. Best regards.
Letter: Assalamu Alaikum. I hope my e-mail finds you well. Are any of the following not halal? Sesame oil, silica, gelatin, FD&C red no. 3, FD&C red no. 40, shellac, isopropyl alcohol, butyl alcohol, dehydrated alcohol, propylene glycol, sodium hydroxide, polyvinyl pyrrolidone, titanium dioxide, FD&C yellow no. 5, dimethylaminoethanol, beta cyclodextrin, magnesium carbonate, dextrin, maltodextrin, epichlorohydrin. I really appreciate your help and Jazzak ALLAH Kher. Bassel
IFANCA Response: Dear Bassel. This list of ingredients looks like it is from a product label. First you must realize that that not every ingredient is listed on the label. Secondly, how and where the product is manufactured is important to ascertain if there has been cross contamination. Gelatin is highly doubtful and borders haram. We recommend avoiding products containing gelatin unless they are certified halal or are used for health reasons. Shellac is insect secretion. Some scholars consider it haram, however, we think it is okay to use. The other ingredients seem to be okay. ALLAH (Subhanahu wa ta'ala) knows best. Best regards.
Letter: Could you tell me who supplies meat to Olympia Foods? They were saying it comes from Cargill Meat, Canada but Cargill is a big company. Does a Muslim cut meat with their own hand and say the name of ALLAH while cutting the animal? How do you make sure? And isn't there any cross contamination in industries like Cargill, Better Beef, and Olympia? Also, is Cargill the one certified by IFANCA or is it Better Beef-Cargill? Or they are the same? My main concern is that how zabiha halal can be done without cross contamination at these industries. It will be amazing if you have some way of monitoring and actually making sure no cross contamination occurs. Please let me know and eat in peace! I like my Gyros Zabiha Halal. Was Salam. Wahhaj, Urbana
IFANCA Response: Dear Wahhaj. Assalamu Alaikum. We appreciate your inquiry and concerns. First, we are industry professionals trained and experienced in quality control systems. We have devised production systems and cleaning procedures to eliminate cross contamination. Second, both Cargill-Better Beef and Olympia Foods DO NOT handle any pork. Third, at Cargill-Better Beef we have hired Muslim slaughter men, a supervisor above them and a halal inspector over the whole team. Fourth, at Olympia Foods, we have assigned an internal auditor/supervisor, who has to sign off on every production. A halal certificate is issued for every batch produced. We have done every thing humanly possible utilizing halal quality assurance systems. Better Beef is a brand of Cargill Meat Solutions. The IFANCA motto is, WE TAKE THE DOUBT OUT. Please enjoy the gyros! ALLAH (Subhanahu wa ta'ala) knows best. Best regards.