The Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA®) received the prestigious Islamic Economy Award in the category Islamic Economy Compliance and Standardization at the Global Islamic Economy Summit held in Dubai, UAE, on November 25-26. The award was presented to IFANCA President, Muhammad Munir Chaudry, PhD, by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and Ruler of Dubai. To qualify for the award, IFANCA demonstrated innovation, social impact, global reach, and, in the eyes of the judges, IFANCA had a compelling story.
IFANCA has been educating consumers and the industry on the requirements and need for halal certified products for 30 years. Along the way, IFANCA developed guidelines for preparing halal meals in a partial halal kitchen as well as a Halal Foodservice Kit that benefitted schools and universities, hospitals, correctional facilities, and general food service organizations; guidelines for the technical use of alcohol; production of halal certified gelatin; development of halal certified nutritional supplements; and development of halal vaccines.
Publications have played a major role in IFANCA’s education process. IFANCA has published a number of books on halal, including a chapter on halal in a college textbook that is used by many universities to teach halal. In addition, the Halal Consumer© magazine is published quarterly and distributed to over 25,000 subscribers around the world, and the Halal Digest© electronic newsletter is available online on the IFANCA website, www.ifanca.org. IFANCA produces other educational materials and workshops on halal for Muslim and non-Muslim audiences; provides speakers at conferences; and participates in trade shows to enhance the awareness of halal and highlight opportunities available to the industry.
IFANCA halal ingredient certification in North America, Europe, and China has opened opportunities for subsidiary and local companies in South East Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, and the Middle East to produce halal products in the local markets. The value of IFANCA halal certified products and ingredients exported to countries included in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have positively impacted the food industry economics.
IFANCA philanthropy has had a positive impact on the local community. Contributions are made to local Islamic schools, Islamic centers and mosques, as well as to support scholarships for needy Muslim students. In addition to financial contributions, IFANCA opened a food pantry to help the needy in the Chicago area, inspiring some of the halal certified companies and others to contribute to the pantry. The pantry is open weekly to distribute food products to any needy person. These activities have also led to goodwill towards the Muslim community.
Of course, we field numerous inquiries every day from halal consumers around the world asking questions about the suitability of specific products, whether or not they are halal certified, as well as companies around the world asking about how to get their products halal certified. IFANCA’s procedures have been used by others to start halal certifying bodies.
Companies producing IFANCA halal certified products and ingredients can be found in the USA, Canada, and Mexico; throughout Europe; China, India, and Pakistan; and the Middle East. Over 50,000 IFANCA halal certified products can be found in over 100 countries around the world. IFANCA’s Crescent-M halal certification symbol is recognized as a quality mark by producers and consumers alike.
It is an impressive story for an organization that began in 1982 when a group of Muslim food scientists recognized the need for a body to validate food products available to Muslims. As the food chain became more intertwined and complicated, the need for this work became more critical. The halal awareness campaign led many non-Muslims to favor halal product consumption as they realized the wholesomeness of halal products. This expanded the halal economy beyond Muslim consumers.
The early days of being staffed by volunteers and struggling to publish a newsletter and develop simple lists of halal and haram products have been replaced by today’s world class organization, staffed with experienced food scientists and industry professionals, and supported by Islamic religious advisers and administrators. Over the years, one thing has not changed and that is the mission of being the leading halal solution provider in the world. As we continue to make the vision of making halal food readily available to every consumer on earth, we look forward to the next 30 years.
The Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA®) and the Djuanda University in Bogor, Indonesia, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on November 1, 2013.
Dr. Muhammad Munir Chaudry, President, signed on behalf of IFANCA while Dr. H. Martin Roestamy, SH, MH, Rector, signed on behalf of Djuanda University. The MoU calls for academic and social cooperation among the two institutions by collaborating on halal education matters. This includes collaboration on research projects; lectures and training; scientific meetings; and the exchange of academic materials. The MoU is valid for five years and renewable thereafter. We look forward to a successful collaboration that enhances halal understanding and education.
Djuanda University has introduced a new program to teach halal. As an expert in the field of halal for the last thirty years, IFANCA will contribute towards developing and providing educational materials, textbooks, white papers, etc.
If you have any food science related textbooks that you are not using, put them to good use by donating them to Djuanda University. Just send them to IFANCA and we will forward the donated textbooks to Djuanda University so the students there can benefit from them. For more information, contact Roger Othman at firstname.lastname@example.org or (312) 957-9300.
IFANCA President Muhammad Munir Chaudry, PhD, addressed the attendees at the Dubai International Food Safety and Expo, held in Dubai, UAE on November 16-19. Speaking on the topic of Literature Review of Halal Foods, Dr. Chaudry shed light on the availability of information on halal food. He analyzed the available information from the internet, books, technical journals, trade magazines, conferences, and other print media. A broad range of topics were reviewed and analyzed, including manufacturing processes, ingredients, alcohol, GMO products, fermentation technology, nutritional ingredients, nutritional supplements, nutritional products, food service, analytical methods, testing for porcine contamination, animal welfare, slaughter and stunning methods, food safety and HACCP, halal standards and guidelines, and logistics and marketing. Of these categories, those covered more often are analytical methods, stunning of animals, and standards. Dr. Chaudry identified the gaps in available literature to be in the areas of animal welfare, new technologies, and the implementation of standards. He reiterated the need to increase funding in these areas.
Dr. Chaudry also participated in a panel discussion at the Global Islamic Economy Summit, held in Dubai, UAE, on November 25-26. The panel on Halal Lifestyle focused on halal pharmaceuticals and personal care products. Dr. Chaudry discussed the industry perspective on making the products halal compliant. He said that the cosmetics, personal care, and pharmaceutical industries cater to the market demand and that changing the product compositions is based on market demands. The biggest issue was identified to be removing animal based ingredients, especially porcine materials, from the products. These demands were thought of as universal and not just for Muslims.
Congratulations to IFANCA-certified Saffron Road and President Adnan Durrani for being awarded the Best Halal Food Company in the World at the recently concluded Global Islamic Economic Summit, held in Dubai, UAE, on November 25-26.
This year marked the 13th anniversary of the Sabeel Food Pantry turkey drive. In partnership with the American Muslims for Activism and Learning (AMAL), the IFANCA-sponsored food pantry was successful in distributing 1,000 turkeys to Chicago-area families in need.
The drive took place on Tuesday, November 25, 2013. Volunteers from IFANCA, AMAL, Emmett Till Academy, Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN), and the south-side neighborhood’s community spent the day unloading, tagging, and handing out turkeys to the families of Emmett Till Academy students along with other neighborhood families in need.
Contributions came from around 160 donors, helping make this year’s drive the most successful yet. Thanks to all of the donors and volunteers for their generosity. May God reward you for your kindness.
As we reach the end of 2013 it is time to look forward and plan for the coming year. Many challenges and opportunities lie ahead. A number of activities are planned in the halal field, including many conferences. In February, the International Symposium on Halal Science & Innovative Product Development 2014 in Brunei, Darussalam, is scheduled; in March, the Halal Food Council of Europe will hold its 6th International Halal Food Conference in Belgium under the theme: Achieving Global Halal Integrity; in April, the World Halal Food Council will hold a conference in Italy; and, in October, the World Halal Food Council will hold the General Body meeting in Indonesia. There are many other industry conferences and expositions that will be held in the US, as well as internationally, and IFANCA will be present at many of them.
IFANCA looks forward to the opening of the Sabeel Center during 2014. The Sabeel Center will provide unique programs not available in Chicagoland: a museum of early Islamic history, a library, an educational center for consumer sciences, as well as a conventional community center.
In addition to the activities, there are a number of critical issues facing the food industry that will impact halal. These include the animal welfare debate; insect farming for food; and synthetic meat.
Animal welfare will continue to gain attention, as well it should. The halal community needs to increase the awareness of the humane nature of halal meat production, and we will do our part in that regard. Halal slaughter is the most humane system of slaughter, and halal certifiers need to provide the information on halal slaughter methods. More non-stunned, hand-slaughtered poultry and meat needs to become available, as this is the best way to provide meat products.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization released a report on the farming of insects for food. Insects are already consumed in many parts of the world, and the UN considers this a viable way to feed the billions of new inhabitants that will come into the world over the next decades. This poses issues for halal consumers and others that need to be considered, in addition to food labeling concerns.
You may have heard about the $300,000 hamburger created in a lab. Synthetic meat may not be a supermarket item in 2014, but it is on the way. If there are any objections to it, they need to be made now, before it is too late. The scholarly community has a full plate to consider with synthetic meat and insect farming for food, in addition to the normal issues that they address.
Another area that is attracting attention is accreditation of halal certifiers. This has been an ongoing process over the last several years and has gathered momentum this year as a number of geographic regions held accreditation conferences. Efforts are underway in the US and abroad to develop certification standards. We expect to see more activity on this front and will participate in the discussions to achieve regional and global standards. We will also be monitoring the discourse between the World Halal Food Council and the World Halal Council.
In 2014, we look to continue improving our publications. The Halal Consumer© magazine and Halal Digest© newsletter have been well received, and we will continue to address items of interest to consumers. We will also publish more information on the IFANCA halal certified products, and we expect consumers to see more Crescent-M symbols on the certified products. Consumer response and interaction with manufacturers has shown them the value of obtaining halal certification.
Another area that will attract attention is the pharmaceutical industry. While new vaccines and medications are constantly being rolled out, there has not been enough attention paid to producing halal vaccines. Most vaccines and drugs are developed using pork based enzymes for a variety of reasons. More industry attention needs to go to developing halal certified, or at least halal compliant, vaccines and medications. This will require an adequate supply of halal enzymes; a demand for such products by Muslim countries; and involvement of the certifying bodies during the early stages of product development.
For the past 30 years, IFANCA has been at the forefront of working with industry to develop cost effective halal certified products. We will continue to reach out to companies, governments, and educational institutions, as well as the all-important consumer, to make halal certified products readily available.
|Company name||Product Type||Market||Region|
|Biova, LLC||Personal Care Ingredients||Industry||Worldwide|
|Chongqing Fish Well Preserved Vegetable (Group) Co., Ltd.||Vegetables Processed||Industry||Worldwide|
|Dolce Dolci, LLC||Dairy Products||Industry||Worldwide|
|Ecochem Specialties, Ltd.||Food Chemicals||Industry||Worldwide|
|Fujian Yonghua Food Co., Ltd.||Food Products||FoodService||USA|
|Fushun Shunhui Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.||Food Chemicals||Industry||Worldwide|
|General Chemical, LLC||Food Chemicals||Industry||Worldwide|
|Lawrence Foods, Inc.||Fruits Processed||Industry||USA|
|Milne Fruit Products, Inc.||Fruit Concentrates||Industry||Worldwide|
|Shanghai Baosui Chemical Co., Ltd.||Food Chemicals||Industry||Worldwide|
|Shanghai Ful Chem Industry Co., Ltd.||Food Processing Aids||Industry||Worldwide|
|Trans Ocean Liquid Technologies (Kunshan) Co., Ltd.||Food Processing Aids||Industry||Worldwide|
|Yunnan Rainbow Bio-Tech. Co., Ltd.||Food Ingredients||Industry||Worldwide|