IFANCA Opens Halal Research Center

IFANCA has moved its Industry Services offices from 5901 N. Cicero, Chicago IL to 777 Busse Highway, Park Ridge IL. The new location will be called “Halal Research Center (HRC).” The HRC will work closely with the industry for Halal Certification, and carry out research to understand marketing trends.

The head office will remain at the Cicero location, to focus on communications and community services. All dealings between IFANCA and its clients including ingredient and product review, supervision and certification, inspection of facilities, new applications, as well as the accounts department and all other company-related activities will be conducted at the HRC.

This move would further facilitate dealing with clients since its main focus is the industry services. IFANCA staff will see to it that the Halal needs of its clients are met in a timely, expeditious manner. The new center will also provide logistical support to IFANCA offices and affiliates in other countries.

The Halal Research Center’s address, phone, and fax number are as follows:

777 Busse Hwy.

Park Ridge, IL 60068-2470

Tel: +(l) 847-993-0034

Fax: +(l) 847-993-0038


IFANCA Vice President Meets with Queen of Malaysia

IFANCA Vice President, Prof. Dr. Mohamed Sadek, was granted an audience with the Queen of Malaysia, Her Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Fauziah binti Al-Marhum Tengku Abdul Rashid at the National Palace in Putra Jaya, Malaysia on July 1, 2006.

Prof. Dr. Sadek highlighted IFANCA’s role and efforts in establishing Halal standards throughout the world. He reaffirmed the close working relationship between IFANCA and Malaysia’s Halal certifying body, JAKIM.

The Queen was happy to learn about IFANCA as a reputable Halal certifying agency and its important role in helping the Muslim Community choose authentic Halal foods.


IFANCA Welcomes New Addition to the Team

IFANCA is pleased to announce that Suzann Denise Audi, M.Sc. Food Science & Industry, joined IFANCA’s staff. Suzann comes to IFANCA from Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas where she received her B.S. and M.Sc. in Food Science with an emphasis on Food Chemistry and Toxicology. Suzann graduated with high honors and received a number of awards at Kansas State. She brings with her experience in food analysis, quality control and teaching as well as enthusiasm and a desire to contribute to the growth of Halal.

IFANCA is proud to have eight professionals with PhD degrees in food science, and another six researchers and auditors with masters’ degrees.

Suzann will be responsible for research on ingredients for Halal compliance.


Memo of Understanding Signed by IFANCA and Thai Halal Institutions

The Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America hosted a luncheon on July 20th at the North Shore Holiday Inn and Convention Center, Skokie, for a delegation visiting from the Kingdom of Thailand.

A three party Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between IFANCA, the Thai Halal Science Center, and the Thai Institute for Halal Food Standards. Representing Thailand at the MOU signing ceremony were Professor Winai Dahlan, Director of the Thai Halal Science Center and Mr. Samai Charoenchang, President of the Thai Institute for Halal Food Standards. Dr. Muhammad Munir Chaudry, President of IFANCA, co-signed the agreement as well. The parties agreed to establish collaboration in Halal industry matters, for the mutual benefit of both sides, in the following areas:

  • Accreditation, certification, and quality system implementation for Halal products and other services performed under responsibilities of each institution.
  • Recognize each other as a reference institution for Halal inspection benchmarks.
  • Develop common Halal standards and guidelines for the benefit of all Muslim consumers.
  • Support this relationship by establishing exchange programs, providing institutional funding and assisting with other legal matters for mutual benefit.

It is our hope that this Memo of Understanding will promote scientific and research exchanges to promote Halal worldwide.

The official seal of approval was placed by Mr. Thanatip Upatising, Deputy Director-General, Department of International Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Thailand and Mr. Santi Bangor, Deputy Secretary General, The National Economic and Social Development Board, Kingdom of Thailand, as witnesses.

Mr. Narote Sangkamanee, Consul General of Thailand in Chicago, also graced this occasion. Other delegates from Thailand included Ms. Morakot Janemathukorn, Ms. Vanida Nopponpunth, and Mr. Jongjit Angkatavanich.

IFANCA personnel present at the meeting included Dr. Mohamad Sadek, vice president, Saad Asrar, Suzann Audi, and Zeshan Sadek.

The delegation, earlier in the day, visited the IFANCA Halal Research Center located in Park Ridge, Illinois. The Thai delegation is touring USA and Canada to build alliances in an effort to promote Thai food products. The delegation also visited the American Dietetic Association, the Muslim Consumer Group for Food Products, as well as several food businesses.

Halal industry matters in Thailand are sanctioned by His Majesty the King of Thailand, with the assistance of Thai Halal Science Center and Thai Institute of Halal Food Standards.

IFANCA is the largest and most recognized Halal supervision organization in USA and Canada.


IFANCA at Halal Food Conference in Amsterdam

Schiphol, Amsterdam⁠—The 2nd International Halal Food Conference organized by Islamic Food Council of Europe (IFCE). The conference was held at the prestigious Sheraton Amsterdam Schiphol Airport Hotel on April 24, 2006. It was a one-day conference attended by a wide representation of people from the food industry, from Europe, Asia, and the U.S. Speakers were from government regulatory agencies such as JAKIM, MUIS, MUI, and the Phillippines Halal Authority. Each discussed their respective countries’ import requirements for Halal foods as well as the Halal standards and guidelines.

Prof. Dr. Aisjah Girindra, Director of MUI, Indonesia, who is also the President of the World Halal Council (WHC), gave the keynote address on the role of WHC towards getting uniformity in Halal standards, and a common logo to be used by all members of the WHC. She also stressed the need for unity and cooperation amongst members to further the advancement of the Halal certification program.

Food industry representatives gave a brief overview of the Halal certification program with regards to their companies. They also briefed the audience on the successful implementation of the Halal program in their companies, and the increased benefits reaped in terms of sales and marketing by going Halal.

The speakers also highlighted some of the challenges faced in selecting the right Halal certifying body, since there is very little information available to ensure getting Halal certification from a credible certifying body. This lack of information may lead a company to choose an incompetent and inexperienced certifying body that may result in loss of time and sales as well.

Also attending was the Senior Religious Advisor for IFCE, Mr. Mufti Ebrahim Essop Desai who spoke very eloquently on the code of ethics and the conduct of Muslims. He also emphasized the role of Prophet Muhammad(s) as a Messenger, and his mission for all mankind, highlighting his life and struggle. His speech countered some of the negative media propaganda recently witnessed in Europe. His speech was well received by the delegates, especially non-Muslim delegates, realizing how little they knew about Islam and its teachings.

There were a total of 16 papers presented at this conference, each providing a sound understanding of Halal and the certification program. The conference was a tremendous success and IFCE representatives were confident its objectives had been met.


Wall Street Journal Profiles Increasing Opportunities in Halal Food Industry

In its May 5th edition, Wall Street Journal reporter, Barry Newman, profiled Midamar Corp of Iowa, ~he makers of Halal pepperoni pizza made with real cheese and Halal beef. Newman writes about the race “toward breakthroughs in frozen pepperoni pizza.”

Dr. Muhammad Munir Chaudry, President of IFANCA, who was also interviewed for the report, says that perhaps two reasons mainstream U.S. marketers haven’t tapped into the Halal foods market—and with it potential Muslim customers—is because they fear a backlash from Islamophobes and because Halal certifiers have differing standards and fees. Further, according to the report, even those supermarkets that may want to stock Halal foods on their shelves, may not know where to look. “There are no major (U.S.) distributors,” says a buyer for Ralphs, Kroger Company’s California Chain.

In Europe, however, the scenario is significantly different. In a bid to woo French Muslims, the Carrefour Group, a supermarket chain, sold whole sheep in its parking lot for Eid al-Fitr in 2005. IFANCA certifies 2000 products for markets in Islamic countries.


Sabeel Food Pantry Partners with AMAL for Thanksgiving Turkey Drive

For the past five years, the Chicago Muslim community has mobilized to provide Thanksgiving dinner to neighbors who would not have the opportunity otherwise. Last year area residents donated 231 turkeys to needy families, and this year, the intention was to exceed that. Once again, the beneficiaries of our community’s generosity will be needy families of the children at Emmett Till Academy (formerly McCosh Elementary School) at 65th and Champlain in Chicago.

This year, the drive was under the auspices of the Sabeel Food Pantry, a community based project of the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA). Sabeel Food Pantry has provided food for anyone in need for years on Chicago’s North Side, and with the help of AMAL volunteers to coordinate and distribute the turkeys, will extend their services this Thanksgiving.

IFANCA/Sabeel is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization in the state of Illinois; this means your contributions will be tax deductible, and all donations to Sabeel will receive a receipt for tax purposes. For more info, check www.sabeelpantry.org.