KUALA LUMPUR – The importance of high lighted just by sheer presence of the Prime Minister of Malaysia YAB Dato’ Seri Abdullah Bin Ahmad Badawi. The professionally diverse international conference entitled ” Malaysia International Halal Food Conference” was held on July 15-16, 2004 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The two-day event focused on various methods in place, and to be applied, for the promotion of Halal foods. In attendance were university professors, industrialists, political dignitaries, various recognized Islamic certifying bodies, and other respected guests (including IFANCA’s own Hj. Abdullah Fahim – IFANCA’S regional Director for Southeast Asia and Asia Region).

Hj. Abdullah Fahim presented a paper entitled, “Global Trend in Halal Certification – Global Networking and Challenges.” The paper discussed what does a “Halal Certification” entail, how to become a Halal certifier, the increase in demand for Halal certification, the usage of Halal certificates as a marketing tool, the Halal certification process, and IFANCA global networking. Also discussed were technical issues related to Halal Certification such as, usage of animal enzymes, gelatin, alcohol (ethanol), and mechanical slaughtering.

The Conference was held in Malaysia as a result of Malaysia’s long standing commitment to the promotion of Halal food standards. The event included a business forum from China. The Chinese delegation focused on partnership venues that could be developed between China and Malaysia for certification of Halal foods. The Conference was also held in conjunction with another event, the “5th Malaysia International Food & Beverage Trade Fair 2004,” at the same venue.

During the first day there was a welcome address by Encik Mohd. executive director of the Nasir Ali Group. “Experiences in Establishing International Halal Auditors Network Prof. Dr. Hj. Aisyah Girindra Direcetor of MUI (Majelis Ulema Indonesia / LPPOM) spoke about the role of World Halal Council in global standardization and coordination. The Prime Minister of Malaysia, YAB Dato’ Seri Abdullah bin Ahmad Badawi, emphasized the importance of “The World Halal Hub – A Perspective and Challenges.” On day two following a welcome address by YBhg. Tan Sri Dato’ Hashim Makaruddin there was a keynote address by YB Dato’ Seri Rafidah Aziz – Minister of International Trade & Industry Malaysia. The address focused on, “Incorporating ‘Malaysia & China – Strategic Partnership For the Development of Halal Food In the Global Market.”

JAKIM’s (Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malysia) Halal Development Director Encik Che Hassan Pahmi bin Che Mamat discussed “New Developments in Halal Certification System.” Many other distinguished speakers from the food industry spoke on Halal Marketing in the EU, Product Quality, and processing of Halal foods which culminated with a Panel Discussion.

The event was well attended and highly effective in bringing together of key elements for a Halal promotion in the world market place.