Although I love Japan to the core of my heart, it has been a difficult country in terms of finding Halal food. Up until recently, we could hardly locate any Halal products in supermarkets or convenience stores. But, the situation is getting better, albeit rather slowly. But, how has it changed? Introduction of a sound Halal verification system.
But, do we need a similar Halal verification system in other countries as well?
A global population of 1.9bn Muslims says their faith shapes their consumption choices. It’s a market estimated at more than $3tr. Its movers and shakers are mostly young, tech-savvy consumers. These Muslims are becoming vocal in their choices. They want to make informed decisions about everything they do and consume.
To meet their growing needs in food and other related products, Halal certification is becoming a mandatory requirement in all parts of the world.
Currently, the global Halal ecosystem is worth more than $3tr annually. And, it is fast gaining attention worldwide. The Halal ecosystem encompasses many industries, ranging from Halal food and non-food products to cosmetics, tourism, healthcare, and Halal logistics.
Halal is also on the upswing in countries like Japan, Australia, the UK, the US, Canada, etc. Halal compliance can create a preference for products and attract business from everywhere. Having your products certified by a recognized certification organization gives you an edge over other non-compliant brands.
To take unfair advantage of the huge business opportunities in all parts of the world, a large number of fake Halal manufacturers have sprung up.
The press is filled with scams about Halal products. In Malaysia, a meat cartel had been allegedly selling fake Halal meat to Muslims for 40 years.
There must be a foolproof way to verify the status of the Halal products the Muslims consume daily. But, who will do that?
What Is the Halal Verification System?
According to a rough estimate, there are more than 400 Halal certification bodies globally. About 95% of these bodies do not have any system in place. They manually process all Halal applications to certify various products and non-food items.
These certification bodies are not connected. So far, there is no global repository of Halal ingredients and certification bodies found anywhere.
The world must have a consolidated mechanism to verify what is Halal and what is not.
How should Halal certification bodies and food manufacturers approach the problem of Halal verification?
In 2017, the Malaysian government via JAKIM, the main Halal certification body in the country, and a company called Serunai Commerce devised a mechanism to gather data on Halal ingredients and Halal products and services in one single app.
Verify Halal was developed to help consumers, Halal-certified companies, and buyers find accurate and verified Halal information of halal products and services globally. It also aims to help certification bodies to share information about the companies they certify. Consumers can either scan or search for the product, brand, company, or country of their choice.
The spreading of fake Halal news and rumors on social media and websites is on the rise. It has become a trend that’s fast becoming a global problem that is detrimental to business.
We, the Muslim consumers as well as the Halal certification bodies around the globe have to wake up to the challenge and work with tech companies like Verify Halal to consolidate data about Halal products and other related items so that Muslims could verify the Halal status of any product of their choice before deciding to buy it.