At the beginning of December our team attended a workshop organised by the UKTI and FDEA concerning the export of Food & Drink to the Middle East.
We’d been invited to talk about multilingual packaging compliance and were very happy to receive some great feedback.
One of the topics was Halal Certification, presented by Sarfraz Mohammed from The Halal Monitoring Committee (HMC UK), an independent, not for profit charity organisation the main aim of which is to certify the production of genuine Halal food. The HMC assists exporters in complying with UK food production laws as well as Islamic dietary compliance laws.
During the presentation it quickly became evident that what we thought we knew about Halal was only one part of the story. So what does Halal mean? The translation of the Arabic word ‘Halal’ is “permissible” or “lawful” and it means that, in order to be consumed / used by followers of the Islamic faith, products need to be produced following Islamic State rules.
We found out that Halal doesn’t only apply to meat, but also to food in general and to many other non-food products, such as cosmetics and pharmaceutical products. Did you know that products which contain alcohol, such as facial cleansing wipes, need to be Halal too? In addition, we were informed that, in order to be qualified as Halal, a product needs to be certified by the HMC, which will inspect premises (site audit), conduct lab tests on products and provide other consultancy services.
Halal certification may at first seem to be a big challenge, however with the assistance of the HMC, the vast rewards that trading in the Middle East can bring will surely make everything worthwhile.
Our new favourite expert on this matter is Sarfraz Mohammed from the HMC. If you are considering this route to market, Sarfraz Mohammed should be your first point of contact.
Call 03333 447 886/ Mobile 07581 483126