IFANCA in the Media
Compiled by Maria Omar, Director Media Relations
June 22, 2010 – The following is an excerpt from the article, ‘Kosher or Halal? American Muslims Debate Which Food Certifications To Follow’, published in the Baruch College Award-Winning Magazine, ‘Dollars & Sense’:
“Differing standards as to what constitutes halal also makes reliable halal certification tricky. “Muslims in North America and Europe are still not actively searching for a third-party certification symbol,” says Maria Omar, IFANCA Media Relations Director. “That is something we are trying to change in the public realm. Many Muslims will take a neighborhood butcher’s word on the halal status of meat, many perceive that there are no such agencies that provide certification and many are unaware of the large numbers of fraud or questionable halal certifications present today.”
Some manufacturers self-certify or use certification agencies that are co-owned by the manufacturer, an obvious conflict of interest. There have been cases of certifications being issued without any inspection or regulation. “The lack of standards is a large issue in the industry,” says Omar. Though a few states have halal consumer protection laws, “they have never been used even once,” says Omar.
June 30, 2010 – ‘Huffington Post’ Contributor and Managing Editor of ‘Halal Consumer’ magazine, Naazish Yar Khan, writes about her experiences at the National Restaurant Association Show 2010. Her article entitled: ‘Expanding Halal Food’s Availability’ talks about the interest American restaurants and food producers are showing in catering to the American Muslim Market. In order to explain why halal needs strict supervision, from organizations like IFANCA, she says:
“There are 8-9 million Muslims in the USA and they, too, would like to reach for those gummy bears, those marshmallows, those jello cups — all of which they can’t eat as they can contain gelatin derived from prohibited animal bones. Muslims never know if those animal bones are pig bones so they avoid products with gelatin entirely. Or they don’t know if gelatin is sourced from permissible animals that have been slaughtered in the name of God and according to Islamic rules, and that’s where halal certification comes in. IFANCA does the homework for Muslims and makes sure it’s all halal or permissible.”
Read the article online at www.huffingtonpost.com/naazish-yarkhan/expanding-halal-foods-ava_b_631763.html
August 12, 2010 – Financial writer Bruce Kennedy explores ‘The Economic Impact of Ramadan’, both globally and within the USA. Kennedy quotes IFANCA to describe the US market when it comes to halal:
“In the U.S., the market for halal-certified foods (permitted by Islam) has soared in the past decade. The Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA) recently estimated an 80% growth in the market for halal-certified ingredients and food products since 2005. ‘This increased interest for U.S. halal market ingredients and products,’ according to the IFANCA statement, ‘may reflect the overall estimated $170 billion U.S. dollar purchasing power of American Muslims.’”
Read the full article from ‘Daily Finance’: http://srph.it/anSV0L
August 14, 2010 – The ‘Meat Trade News Daily’ picked up on the growing trend for halal certification when mainstream American companies turned their sights towards the American-Muslim food market. In their article ‘USA-The Massive Halal Meat Market’, CEO of Med Diet Inc, Don Tymchuck, mentions IFANCA when his company took into consideration the checks needed to prevent fraudulent use of the term halal:
“’There is an undeniable need for certifications from independent halal certifying agencies such as IFANCA,’ says Mr. Tymchuck. ‘Consumers can view the certificates for products sold on Halalhealthy.com, on the website.’”
August 19, 2010 – CNBC’s ‘Street Signs’ host, Erin Burnett, investigates missed opportunities when mainstream American companies overlook a burgeoning, 170 billion dollar American-Muslim market. CNBC quotes IFANCA to estimate the increase in halal demand in the past few years, in a banner during the report.
View it at www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/muslims-and-their-money/3x8okl5y
September 28, 2010 – Regular ‘Huffington Post’ Contributor, and ‘Halal Consumer’ magazine Managing Editor, Naazish Yar Khan, writes about the Second American Muslim Consumer Conference and its impact on the American economy. The article titled ‘See You at the Second American Muslim Consumer Conference’, gives a run-down of the conference’s past and current significance for exploring in a rich, multicultural niche market. YarKhan quotes IFANCA when estimating the American-Muslim consumer’s market size:
“According to Zogby International, there are approximately 7 million American Muslims living in the United States (or 9 Million, according to IFANCA), with an estimated buying power of $170 billion.”
Read the complete article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/naazish-yarkhan/see-you-at-the-2ndannual_b_740535.html
September 15, 2010 – In an article titled ‘Eid Celebrates End of Holy Month of Ramadan’, Norridge Harwood Heights News photographs IFANCA employees and their families enjoying the end of Ramadan celebrations at IFANCA’s new Sabeel Center in Maine Township. The festive occasion is complete with games, gifts and Bozo the clown.
October 1, 2010 – NYU Journalism Student, Cynthia Ghazali, recently published an article titled ‘Possible Fraud in Self-Certified Halal’. She interviewed halal consumers in Queens, New York about the recent growth in halal food options. Both halal consumers and sellers describe the challenges in ensuring the halal worthiness of halal products, without valid halal certification. Many expressed their anxiety in blunt words:
“’I’ve become skeptical,’ said Abdelrahim Diouri, a 35-year-old Moroccan-American about the halal meat sold in stores. Mr. Diouri said that one of the reasons he buys halal from a certain shop is because he trusts the store owner since he speaks the same language and is from the same country. But he believes that there should be a document certifying that the food products and meats being sold are genuinely halal.”
According to 35-year-old Egyptian American, Leo Santini, “It should be regulated. It is not regulated the proper way [halal]. Anyone can put a sign up. It should be regulated just like Kosher is.” Some others put their trust in self-certified products but “We are worried,” admitted Abdelhak Akrama, 35.”
IFANCA’s Media Relations Director, Maria Omar, described some of the manufacturing nuances that self-certification can miss because of the technical aspect in processed foods:
“Sometimes it’s not as simple as looking at the nutrition labels and knowing the ingredients are halal. Ingredient review as well as manufacturing plant audits is the only way to make sure that a product is halal.” Omar explained that this was why IFANCA has its Food Scientists do company audits to ensure that their products are legitimate under halal.”
October 2010 – SpecialtyFoods.com’s Top 10 Specialty Food Trends for October included ‘Halal – The Untapped Market’ and mentions the $170 Billion American-Muslim consumer spending power. Writer Denise Shoukas talks about Saffron Road Foods being certified by IFANCA, and cites it as a successful launch in Whole Foods stores around the nation. He notes that it is only recently that companies, such Saffron Road Foods, have begun to tap into the hidden, niche US halal market.
Read the complete article here: www.specialtyfood.com/news-trends/featured-articles/food-trends/food-trends-october-2010/
Fall 2010 Issue – The ‘ADA Times’ Fall issue cover story was titled ‘Culinary Traditions of Islam: Understanding the Needs and Nuances of the Newest “It” Market’. The article featured traditional food items that have been mentioned in the Quran, and explained halal food in great depth. Author Sara Elnakib, an RD professional and President of Muslims and Dietetics in Nutrition (MIDAN), wrote the article as a means to educate practicing dieticians about Islamic nuances when working with patrons who observe halal. She mentioned IFANCA in the context of halal certification organizations and discussed its clients Tom’s of Maine and Cabot Cheese Creamery Cooperative as companies offering halal certified products in the US. In fact, Cabot Cheese was also mentioned as one of the companies who have gone above and beyond in their food production initiatives to qualify for the halal seal of approval.
Read the article here: old.eatright.org/cps/rde/xchg/adatimes/hs.xsl/index.html
October, 2010 – ‘Halal Consumer’ magazine’s managing editor contributed an insightful feature on the latest development in whey protein products and what do they mean for companies trying to attract halal consumers. IFANCA’s Canada and US-based food technologists, Haider Khattak and Zeshan Sadek, weighed in about these developments.
Read the story at www.halaljournal.com/article/5179/whey-to-go-ae-the-best-kept-weight-loss-secret-in-town
November 10, 2010 – The news of Pakistan’s first Global Halal Congress has caused quite a stir in the nation’s business weeklies, as well as in halal trade publications. The article titled ‘Pak has No Share in $2 Trillion Market’ describes this conference as aimed at changing that scenario. The conference took place on December 4, 2010 and sought to introduce Pakistani manufactures, exporters and government officials to the rich possibilities associated with the international halal market. Writer Asim Sajjad mentions IFANCA as one of the leading halal certification organizations participating in this event.
Read the complete article here: dailymailnews.com/1110/10/Business/index.php?id=1
November 13, 2010 – The ‘Halal Media’ article titled ‘Halal Certification Key to Tap Global Market, Pakistanis Told’, named IFANCA as one of the top halal certification experts participating in Pakistan’s first Global Halal Congress (GHC) in December 2010. Asad Sajjad, CEO of Halal Development Council (HDC), who was also the organizer of GHC 2010, said this conference was intended to introduce Pakistani Exporters and Manufacturers to the potential for business in the halal global market. IFANCA President, Dr. Muhammad Munir Chaudry, was one of the speakers at the Conference.
Read the complete article here: halalmedia.my/halal-certification-key-to-tap-global-market-pakistanis-told/
December 2, 2010 – IFANCA’s Media Relations Director, Maria Omar, was interviewed by the ‘Muslim Media Ticker’ official blog, ‘MReport Online’. The article titled ‘MReport Exclusive Q&A: The Halal Experience’, talks about the burgeoning halal consumer market. ‘Muslim Media Ticker’ Editor, Shazia Ali, explores what it means to be an American Muslim consumer; whether you are at office socials or super bowl parties. Ali gives us a unique look into how this cultural experience seems positioned to shift as more and more companies target American Muslims through food products.
You can read complete article and interview here: http://www.mreportonline.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=249:experience-halal
A young couple moved into a new neighborhood
The next morning while they were eating breakfast, the young woman saw her neighbor hanging the wash outside.
”That laundry is not very clean,” she said.
“She doesn’t know how to wash correctly”.
“Perhaps she needs better laundry soap that is halal certified”.
Her husband looked on, but remained silent.
Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, the young woman would make the same comments.
About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband: “Look, she has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this, and where she bought the soap. And who had certified the soap halal”.
The husband said, “I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows”.