From the Publisher’s Desk
Muhammad Munir Chaudry
I just returned from our Halal Auditors Training Workshop in Canada. As part of our best in class halal certification service, we hold several auditor training sessions every year.
Over the course of the three day workshop, we discussed a myriad of topics related to halal certification and auditing. Topics included halal audit protocols, critical ingredients, cleaning and sanitation requirements, reporting, specific industries, and halal food laws and regulations. We also discussed observations, feedback, and trends in the industry and among consumers.
One interesting observation is the activity of Canadian halal consumers. Though smaller in number than their counterparts in the United States, they have had a much larger impact on the production and labeling of halal foods. They even influenced the Canadian government to pass federal labeling rules.
Companies are influenced by consumers and food companies are no different. Many of our halal certified companies produce halal products for export only. Though they can easily make those products available domestically, they choose not to. Why? They do not see a demand for the products domestically. Many of the companies that do market their halal-certified products domestically do not print the halal certification logo on the product label. This makes it more difficult for halal consumers to recognize that the product is halal-certified. This is a lost sales opportunity for the company and a missed opportunity to sample a different product for the consumer. However, US companies marketing halal-certified products in Canada are printing the logo on their product labels. The reason is that Canadian halal consumers are letting companies know they seek halal-certified products and they need to see the halal logo on the product label. And now the Canadian government will require any product that claims to be halal to identify the certifying body on the product label. These are positive developments for the halal consumer and the halal producer. In the US, Illinois and a number of other states have passed Halal Food Laws. Unfortunately, they are generally not enforced. Again, consumers can change that if they voice their needs and concerns.
We congratulate Canadian halal consumers for their positive contribution to the halal economy. American halal consumers can make an even larger contribution, therefore we encourage you to engage with the industry.
Muhammad Munir Chaudry, president