USMEF: Required or Not, Halal Beef Products Popular in Asia
December 2011 ISSN 1533-3361
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.
Halal beef products represent one of the fastest growing segments of U.S. beef exports. Halal certification, which indicates that products have been processed and prepared according to Islamic guidelines, is required for export to most markets in the Middle East, as well as to Indonesia and Malaysia. But the popularity of halal beef is also growing in some areas in which halal certification is not required for entry, but is in high demand due to customer preference.
Sabrina Yin, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) director for the ASEAN region of Southeast Asia, overseas Indonesia and Malaysia market for USMEF, where halal certification is strictly required. In the attached audio report, she discussed the demand for halal beef in markets where it is not required for entry – such as Singapore, which has a growing Muslim population and attracts many tourists from the Middle East, and in southern Thailand near the border with Malaysia. Even in the Philippines, where the national population is heavily Catholic, halal beef is in high demand in the southwestern portion of the country.
Halal beef products are also gaining popularity in China. Joel Haggard, Senior Vice President (USMEF), for the Asia and Pacific region is of the opinion that there is a steady increase in the presence of halal beef products in China.
Curbing Halal Fraud Through Law and Credible Certification By Ayub Khan
The spectacular growth in the demand for halal foods worldwide offers a unique opportunity to businesses looking to tap into new markets. The lack of adequate consumer protection laws, however, also makes this huge consumer market prone to fraudulent activities on the part of dishonest businesses. Some headway is being made in the USA to curb such activities through legislation and enforcement. At least eight US states now have some form of halal consumer protection laws.
While the specific halal related and other general laws exist their enforcement was lacking. This appears to be changing now with governmental crackdown on fraudsters. On November 21, 2011, the Orange County District Attorney in California obtained $527,000 civil settlement from Super King Market in Anaheim for falsely advertising and selling generic meat as halal meat. Super King Market has multiple locations in Southern California, but this settlement is exclusive to the Anaheim location.
According to OCDA the Anaheim Super King Market ordered and received meats from various suppliers in their market, which were subsequently advertised as halal. The defendant did not employ proper procedures to ensure the meat was indeed halal, as advertised.
The OCDA began an investigation in 2010 after an inspection by the Orange County Health Department revealed that various meats were being delivered to the store without being clearly marked or labeled. Super King Market was also selling all meat from a display case indicating that the contents were halal, but the contents were actually co-mingled in the walk-in freezer and refrigerator with various other generic meats that were delivered to the store.
The settlement did not require the defendant to admit fault or liability. Super King Market agreed to strict injunctive terms to prevent any future unfair or deceptive business practices. Super King Market is permanently enjoined from purchasing any meat without assuring its content is clearly designated on the invoice, packaging and box. Halal meats must be properly segregated from other meats. They are required to ensure every meat product in an area designated as halal by a sign.
This law protects customers from deceptive and harmful business practices and also prevents the defendant from gaining an unfair advantage over legitimate businesses that spend time and resources ensuring that their products are properly purchased, labeled and sold.
In November of last year another major business was charged in Texas for forging halal certificates. American Grocers, Inc. and its owner Samir Itani agreed to pay $13.2 million to settle civil charges that they engaged in false or fraudulent conduct by shipping food products past or near their expiration dates to United States troops stationed in the Middle East. The fraudulent conduct also involved forging halal certificates required by countries such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Imports of food products into certain countries require certification that they meet appropriate requirements for halal compliance.
The complaint alleged that, instead of procuring proper certification, the owner obtained fake halal certificates created by a 'sheik' that never inspected the product. Further, the complaint alleges, Mr. Itani eventually bypassed even the sheik's fees by duplicating the sheik's certificate and forging halal certification within his company.
The above two cases show that not only effective laws but also third party certification is required to curb fraud in the halal industry and gain consumer trust.
On November 9, 2011, Asma Ahad, Director of Marketing, Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA®) made a presentation on the topic of local and global halal business opportunities, at the Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago (ICNC). Mrs. Ahad discussed the case studies of small, medium and large industries that increased market share for their products after adding halal product lines. She also took the opportunity to explain to the entrepreneurs present in the meeting, the halal Certification process put in place by (IFANCA).
Community Builders of Chicago Focus on Halal
On November 7, 2011, Asma Ahad, Director of Marketing (IFANCA®), gave a presentation at the Community Builders of Chicago (CBC) meeting on the topic of 'The Importance of Making Healthy and Halal Decisions'. A summary of her presentation is available on the (CBC) website, www.mycommunitybuilders.com.
You helped feed 760 needy families this Thanksgiving!
IFANCA® is pleased to share the great response from the community who generously donated about $9,700 for the distribution of turkeys to deserving families in the Chicago land area. On Monday, November 21, 201, Dr. Jihad and Dr. Sofia accompanied by volunteers handed out a total of 780 turkeys; 550 families at Emmett Till Academy, located at 6543 S. Champlain in Chicago, IL; 210 turkeys were sent to the Inner City Muslim Action Network (IMAN), and 20 turkeys were sent to the Sabeel Food Pantry for distribution to most deserving families. It is a great blessing, IFANCA & AMAL would like to thank the donors who participated in the 2011 Turkey Drive.