By Edu Lopez
via Manila Bulletin
The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) has cited the Philippines’ gaining popularity as a global business platform and gateway for the $632 billion halal food market.
“Halal’s increasing global popularity stems from strict cultural and religious adherence to its quality standards that make it synonymous to health and hygiene,” said CITEM Executive Director Rosvi Gaetos.
Halal is a major component of the International Food Exhibition (IFEX) Philippines which will be beld on May 16 to 19, 2013 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.
CITEM is currently undertaking preparations for the forthcoming IFEX Philippines, a biennial event and the premier international sourcing hub for the finest ethnic Asian food, ingredients, and raw materials.
The event would have an entire pavilion devoted to Halal to give the industry players all the room they would need to market their products to a vast foreign audience.
Halal pertains to foods that are allowed under Islamic Law. Haram, on the other hand, refers to foods that Muslims are forbidden to consume such as pig and dog and their derivatives, carnivorous animals except animals that only eat fish, amphibians such as frogs, crocodiles, turtles, and seals, among others.
Under the Islamic Law, it is likewise forbidden to use dirty equipment during preparation, processing, and manufacturing.
This development has turned the Halal seal into an international symbol of good quality and marketability.
Halal foods are prescribed for the world’s 1.8-billion Muslims, consequently yielding a global annual market that constitutes some 20% of the world’s entire food consumption.
“In support of the Philippine Export Development Plan’s Halal Development Plan, a special participation rate for IFEX Philippines 2013 will be offered to Halal-certified companies, Halal certifiers, as well as Halal-compliant restaurants and hotels, if they exhibit,” said Gaetos.
“This development underscores CITEM’s strategy of using IFEX to help make the Philippines a leading Halal producer in the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA), now poised to become the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), a unified regional production and trading block by 2015,” she added. (EHL)