The Halal Trust is a not for profit halal certifier and consumer advocacy organisation which wishes to provide a comprehensive solution to the challenges facing the halal industry today.
Mr Ashfaq Hussain, CHairman of The Halal Trust expands upon the vision of The Halal Trust, it's objectives and purpose as a bridge between halal producers and halal consumers in his message below.
Assalam Alaikum (Peace and Blessings Be Upon You),
It gives me great pleasure to write this message explaining the purpose and activities of The Halal Trust. The Halal Trust has been formed for two related purposes. Firstly, The Halal Trust is a responsible halal certifier working in partnership with industry to create a sustainable and viable halal market based on a diverse portfolio of halal products and services. Secondly we are an advocacy organisation acting on behalf of consumers to safeguard and promote consumer rights, protect the environment and ensure that halal products are tayyeb (wholesome).
As a halal certifier our responsibility is to act as a bridge between halal producers and halal consumers. These are the two main stakeholders in the halal industry today:
Consumers: Halal consumers are driving demand for halal products and through their purchasing decisions have created a £500 billion market opportunity. These consumers often in the upwardly mobile, modern and sophisticated 18-34 age demographic require assurance that the product is halal.
Manufacturers: The demand for halal consumables could not be met without the goodwill, expertise and manufacturing capabilities of modern manufacturers who increasingly are looking to enter the halal market with their existing or new products.
There is a symbiotic relationship between the producer and the consumer which applies to halal production as it does to any other industry which is built on trust, accountability and confidence.
Role of The Halal Trust
The Halal Trust was created with a recognition that the primary role of a halal certifier is to facilitate trust between the two primary stakeholders being the halal consumer and halal producer. This will lead inevitably to the growth of a sustainable, commercially-viable halal industry for the mutual benefit of both stakeholders.
Some parties within the halal sector have acted as a “roadblock” to the development of the halal industry slowing the transition of the halal sector from a niche market to mainstream acceptance. A detailed SWOT Analysis was undertaken prior to the creation of The Halal Trust and we found some counter-productive practices by some in the industry:
Common industry practices or malpractices included:
Misinformation: Deliberate obfuscation of facts regarding halal production and the creation of a “knowledge gap” causing confusion regarding halal definitions and certification processes.
Cost-prohibition: Costly, impractical, burdensome, out-of-date inspection practices meaning exorbitant fees are charged which are completely contradictory to other professional certifications including BRC, ISO, Vegan or Vegetarian. This in our experience has left many manufacturers with a negative perception and mistrust of the role of halal certifiers which in turn has slowed the growth of the industry.
Cumbersome: Onerous certification procedures which are divergent from 21st century assurance systems for the production of safe consumables. Manufacturers already adhere to safety assurance systems (HACCP, ISO, BRC, SALSA) which effectively protect against a number of risks including physical, chemical and microbiological.
Short-sighted: Some halal certifiers have had a myopic focus on the halal meat industry meaning that the holistic concept of halal as a safety assurance system to produce diverse consumables fit for human use has not been properly conveyed. This has led to confusion amongst manufacturers and consumers slowing the growth of the halal market.
In creating The Halal Trust we are endeavouring to address the issues that have been highlighted and facilitate trust between those who consume halal products (consumers) and those who produce halal products (producers). The continued success and growth of the halal market currently valued at $500 billion is dependent upon the symbiotic relationship between halal consumers and halal producers.
Our certification process was created after a detailed GAP Analysis was carried out with technical experts, industry stakeholders and religious input from respected scholars and institutions. We have also integrated international halal standards produced by countries including UAE, Malaysia and Singapore. Our certification process will be completely familiar to manufacturers as it integrates into existing safety assurance systems already implemented onsite and does not “reinvent the wheel”.
This integrated and rational approach has been welcomed by industry and means that the process of gaining approval for halal production is simpler, cheaper and quicker.
It is my sincere hope that you will consider The Halal Trust as a certification partner moving forward for your business needs. We are very excited with our development schedule over the coming months where will be focusing on developing a robust ecosystem of products and services to make it easier for halal consumers to search, identify and purchase your halal products.
Wishing you Good Health and Happiness,
Dr Ahmad (Chairman)