How are global challenges affecting the halal food industry? Well, this is an important question that needs to be addressed in light of the challenges we as halal food industry folks are facing since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 20202.
Due to Covid19, the food industry is in crisis, but not in the Halal sector. World Halal Authority brought together international authorities in a webinar to inform companies about ways to succeed through 2021 despite the challenges the industry is facing.
Health crises and economic downturn are two phenomena that in this historical moment go hand in hand putting the world in grave difficulty, with alarming data:
Due to lockdowns, the forecasts of market contraction are serious for 60% of companies (reaching at least a peak of 15 %).
We are hearing repeatedly that the recession is a calamity that has been hitting us for the past year due to the global pandemic. Many businesses are being forced to close their doors due to the lack of market access precisely because of the impact that the no-covid restrictions have had on the economy. Yet, despite this heavy setback, some fare better than others.
According to the State of Global Islamic Economy Report 2020/21, the facts show that in the food sector, for the Halal market a much more contained decline is expected, with the estimate being around 0.2%.
Despite this, a minimal decline is still a decline, and to avoid encountering a more serious downturn, the correct philosophy would be to step up ways to prevent this happening, rather than just waiting for the problems causing it to be resolved.
For this purpose, World Halal Authority, a leading authority in the sector, proceeded to organize an important Webinar to assist companies at this time. In this period of uncertainties and economic unrest (caused not only by the pandemic but also by Brexit), companies need to be guided through these new challenges that are already affecting trade in international markets.
Held on 12th January 2021, the webinar attracted over a hundred international companies, exponents of European politics, and high-caliber authorities in the Halal world as participants.
The highly influential political figures and experts participated as speakers of the webinar:
Mr. Ihsan ÖVÜT, Secretary-General of the Standardisation and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries (SMIIC),
Muhammad Naim Mohd Aziz – Special Officer of the Director / Head of the Innovation Unit of the Islamic Affairs Department of the Federal Territory, Malaysia,
Katie Doherty – CEO, The International Meat Trade Association, UK,
Richard Warren – Regional Director, BSI Group, UK,
Wuraola Ogundimu – Sales Manager, Consumer and Retail, British Centers For Business, UAE,
Dr Rushdi Siddiqui – Co-founder & CEO, Iportal.live, USA,
Dr. Awal Fuseini – Halal Sector Manager, Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (ADHB), UK,
Amanda Morris – Community Liaison Officer, Center for Media Monitoring, Muslim Council of Britain, UK,
Mohammad A. Motagaly – Accreditation Expert, Emirates International Accreditation Center [EIAC] & Chair of the MMC, International Halal Accreditation Forum [IHAF], UAE.
The topics addressed ranged over the entire Halal market, not only food, therefore, among its speakers Wuraola Ogundimu, trade manager at the British Centers For Business in the United Arab Emirates, elaborated on opportunities that Gulfood offers, while US-based Dr. Rushdi Siddiqui of Iportal.live, addressed the areas of innovation and digitization of the entire Halal industry.
The slogan of the initiative was “reaction”; the event had the purpose of illuminating the companies that enter this market, enabling them to have a clear vision of the challenges and opportunities of the halal ecosystem, suggesting ways to adapt to new conditions, to reinvent themselves and to remain ahead.
“We will continue to organize such events to share the knowledge and expertise that enable companies to overcome these difficult times, collaborating with right institutions, authorities, and partners in the sector”, says Dr. Mohamed Elkafrawy, CEO, World Halal Authority (WHA).