Turkish gov't to establish halal accreditation agency

DAILY SABAH WITH ANADOLU AGENCY
ISTANBUL
Published

Ankara has rolled up its sleeves to enter the $3.9 trillion halal food market. By establishing a halal accreditation agency, the country's share in the market, 80 percent of which is in the hands of non-Muslims, will increase.

The draft law which includes the establishment of the Halal Accreditation Agency began to be discussed by the Grand National Assembly's Industry, Commerce, Energy, Natural Resources, Information, and Technology Commission. Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci on Thursday highlighted opportunities for Turkey in the international halal market as he made a case for the formation of a halal accreditation agency in the country.

In remarks made during his presentation to lawmakers on the trade committee in Parliament, Minister Zeybekci said halal products include not only food but also cosmetics, textiles, finance, the supply chain and insurance as well. He added that the total expenditures of Muslims on halal products is estimated to be $1.17 trillion.

"There is a halal market in the world, whether we enter it or not. There will also be agencies that will define the standards on which products are halal, and will give [halal] certificate," he said. Turkey "should lead" such an international halal market, the minister said.

Last week, the government submitted a draft law to Parliament, calling for the establishment of a halal accreditation agency. The agency will be the sole authority on halal product certification and accreditation in Turkey. It will also be capable of establishing offices abroad

The agency would also offer accreditation for Turkish and foreign institutions that grant certificates of halal compliance.

The proposed agency would have a staff of 50 people and would operate under the Ministry of Economy. It would also represent Turkey in the international arena and obtain membership in both regional and international accreditation unions.

Zeybekci clarified that the law regarding the halal accreditation agency would not define whether a product is halal. "The common standard on which all Muslims agree has already been defined. For this reason, the halal accreditation agency will be established upon these standards."

Halal accreditation agencies enforce halal standards according to Islam in Muslim countries and territories. They also aim to protect the growing number of halal consumers and facilitate international trade. Global trade in halal products and services is valued around $3.9 trillion.

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