FRANCE-CONSUMPTION-FOOD-ISLAM-HALAL-FAIRMalaysian exporters are advised to keep an eye on the new halal guideline in Canada, said Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (Matrade).

In a statement today, Matrade said the Canadian government has introduced a new guideline on labeling of halal food products that would be enforced in April 2016.

“Among others, the guideline requires halal claims on food labels, packaging or advertising materials to include the entire name of the certifying body or person.”

Malaysia Trade Commissioner in Toronto, Norzihan Mohd Zain, said with the implementation of the new guideline, consumers would be able to rest assured that the food would meet a certifying body’s standard and allow them to obtain specific information about the standards the food has met.

“The change would also provide consistency for industry and help prevent mislabelling practices and claims regarding halal food products.”

Norzihan said Canada offered US$1 billion (RM3.18 billion) worth of market potential for halal products.

“Therefore, Malaysia’s exporters of halal products should tap this market and leverage on Canada’s recognition of Malaysia as a reliable producer of halal products as well as the Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia halal certification.”

According to the new regulation, a person must not use in labeling, packaging, advertising or selling a food, the word ‘halal’ or any letters of the Arabic alphabet or any other word, depiction, sign, or other representation that indicates or is likely to create an impression the food is halal unless the name of the person or agency that certified the food as halal is indicated.

The food manufacturers also have the option to print additional information such as website of the certifying body on the product label.