JEDDAH, 7th December, 2015 (WAM) — With a view of promoting culturally acceptable, safe and high quality halal food products, a conference on harmonising Halal standards and creating a mutually-accepted accreditation and certification system for Halal produce is to be held at the OIC General Secretariat in Jeddah on 9th and 10th December.

The event, entitled “OIC Stakeholders Forum on Unified Halal Food Standards and Procedures”, will be an opportunity for stakeholders in the domain of Halal standards, accreditation and certification and various OIC institutions to work together, expand intra-OIC trade and promote research, development and best practices.

Various governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental experts, institutions and stakeholders are expected to attend the event. These include national standardisation, accreditation and certification institutions of OIC Member States, OIC institutions such as Statistical, Economic, Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries, the Islamic Centre for Development of Trade, the International Islamic Fiqh Academy, the Islamic Development Bank Group, the Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, and the Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries, private sector establishments dealing with Halal development, regional institutions such as the GCC Standardisation Organisation, and eminent personalities and experts in the domain of Halal food standards, accreditation and certification.

The global Halal market is estimated at US $2.3 trillion with 67 percent of this market, amounting to US$1.4 trillion, consisting of food and beverages. Pharmaceutical products make up 22 percent or US$506 billion while cosmetics and personal care is estimated at US$230 billion.

At present, there are 122 active Halal certifying bodies around the world consisting of government or semi-government bodies, non-governmental organisations and local mosques.