JEDDAH, 10th December, 2015 (WAM) — A two-day forum on unifying Halal standards and procedures has begun at the OIC General Secretariat in Jeddah with several governmental and non-governmental experts, private sector representatives and relevant OIC institutions in attendance.

The event, entitled ‘OIC Stakeholders Forum on Unified Halal Food Standards and Procedures’ is being held to provide stakeholders in the domain of halal standards, accreditation and certification and various OIC institutions an opportunity to work together, suggest widely-acceptable standards of Halal, reconcile practices and variations within Member States, increase intra-OIC trade and promote capacity building.

Iyad Ameen Madani, Secretary General of the OIC, welcomed participants and stressed that Halal is a major global industry that is not confined to food but also other products such as pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.

The final day of the forum will result in a series of recommendations that will be submitted to the Council of Foreign Ministers next year.

The global Halal market is estimated at US$2.3 trillion, 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.