It’s been a busy time here at IFANCA. But busy is good especially if you’re tracking global Halal trends the way we do. Whether it’s Malaysia that’s set its sights on becoming the Global Hub for Halal by 2010 or British Grocery chains that have signed multi-million dollar contracts to carry Halal meat in their stores, it’s all an indication that the Halal industry is growing beyond its infancy. What’s as much of an achievement is that it’s no longer just ingredient manufacturers who’ve been getting their products certified. It’s also retail brands such as Hint Mint, Toms of Maine, and Happy and Healthful frozen juice bars. It’s the everyday products that we use that make up an increasing segment of products getting Halal certified. In this issue we also look at universities that now offer Halal dining options. That Boston University agreed to offer the Halal meal plan to anyone interested is a small yet powerful example of how Muslims can share their Islamic culture and an understanding of their religion with others while participating in it more fully themselves. And yet, the journey has only just begun. We have great strides to make, great mountains to conquer and there’s no doubt in my mind that together, as an community, we can do it. The Food Industry has been very responsive to various ethnic, religious and philosophical needs and wants of the consumer. If Muslim consumers want the industry to make Halal products, all they have to do is ask. Yes-call, write, or email any food company you want producing Halal products. As a Muslim and a Halal-industry insider, these are indeed exciting times!

Dr. Muhammad Munir Chaudry
President, Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America